Skegness

Drink driver crashed into pedestrian crossing while evading police

A motorist high on drink and drugs crashed his friend’s car into a pedestrian crossing as he tried to evade pursuing police officers in Skegness, Lincoln Crown Court was told on Wednesday.

William Smith drove the Audi Q3 into the crossing at such a high speed that the force of the impact threw the vehicle’s engine out of the car.

The engine finished up on a grass bank after flying through the air. Debris from the car was scattered over 100 yards.

Noel Philo, prosecuting, said that Smith was given a roadside breath test which showed he was over the limit, with the reading being 53mgs of alcohol per 100mls of breath compared to the legal limit of 35mgs.

Smith also tested positive for cannabis and cocaine.

Mr Philo said that Smith attracted the attention of police while he was at a filling station in Skegness at 2.30am on July 7 and officers in an unmarked car waited for him on Roman Bank.

Smith came out of the filling station and drove along Roman Bank and onto Sea View Road with the officers following him.

“The whole of the incident was in the 30mph area of Skegness.

“The defendant drove very quickly. The officers could not see the registration number of the car because he was going so fast.”

Smith continued onto North Parade and then turned off his headlights. The pursuit continued along Castleton Boulevard and back onto Roman Bank.

Mr Philo said: “He was going north on Roman Bank at such a speed that he completely lost control near a set of traffic lights with a pedestrian crossing.

“He was on the wrong side of the road and collided with and damaged some railings. He bounced off that and totally demolished part of the pelican crossing.

“He came to a standstill north of the crossing. Parts of the car were scattered across the road for at least 100 yards. The engine of the car came out and was propelled many metres away ending up down a grass bank.”

Smith was injured and after being given roadside tests for alcohol and drugs he was taken to hospital. His passenger, who was the owner of the car, escaped serious injury.

Smith, 33, of Cort Crescent, Braunstone, Leicester, admitted charges of dangerous driving, having no insurance, driving without a valid full licence, driving while unfit through drink, and failing to stop as a result of the incident on July 7 this year.

He also admitted possession of a small amount of cannabis found on him when he was arrested.

He was jailed for 14 months and banned from driving for two years and seven months. He was also ordered to pass an extended retest before he can have his licence back.

Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence, told him: “It is fortunate that nobody sustained any serious or fatal injuries. If there had been anybody walking along the pavement they could have been killed.

“This is so serious that the sentence has to be immediate custody.”

Smith, who represented himself, told the court: “I was stupid and I panicked. I think it was because I had taken drugs and alcohol.

“During the last couple of months I have had a lot of time to think about what I’ve done. I know I was wrong. I’ve learned my lesson over it.”

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