A DRIVER who crashed his car at high speed causing serious injuries to one of his passengers has been fined more than £1,000.

John Philip Park had four people in his Subaru Forester when he lost control of the vehicle and hit a fence with such force that a post embedded in concrete was thrown 50m.

One of the passengers suffered serious injuries, including multiple leg fractures, a broken pelvis and a torn bladder.

Loading article content

Park, 21, of Kirkby Close, Darlington, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, failing to report an accident and driving without insurance when he appeared at Darlington Magistrates’ Court.

Alan Davison, prosecuting, said a number of witnesses reported Park was driving at high speed along Stockton Road, in Haughton, on June 21, shortly before he clipped a kerb and left the road.

Mr Davison added: “It was quite a short journey but he almost collided with an oncoming vehicle.

“The driver of that vehicle looked in his rear view mirror and saw the Subaru swerve about in the road and then lose control and leave the road.

“The force of the collision made the air bags deploy. The engine of the car was left inches away from the front passenger.”

Mr Davison said the injured passenger spent several weeks in James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, and still needs rehabilitation for his injuries.

Graham Hunsley, mitigating, said Park bought the vehicle one week earlier and wrongly thought his insurance had transferred from his previous car.

He added that the defendant had not reported the accident to police because he had taken his injured friend to hospital before leaving to be with his pregnant partner.

Speaking about the crash, Mr Hunsley said: “It is fair to say that there was a lot of noise in the car and a lot of high spirits – that influenced the way he set off to drive.

“Ever since this happened he has thought about it and worried about it. He carries the burden of knowing he was responsible for injuries to his friend.”

Magistrates fined Park £380 for each offence, totalling £1,140, and disqualified him from driving for six months. He must also pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge.