A SPEEDING motorist who maimed a disabled grandfather when he ploughed into his mobility scooter has been jailed for three years.
Carl Ianson, 31, had taken cocaine hours before the horrific midday crash when his out-of-control car hit a sign post and mounted a pavement.
He wept in the dock as details of his victim's injuries were outlined along with the devastating impact the accident has had on him and his family.
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Anthony Flounders, 68, suffered a fractured skull, broken ribs and a shattered left leg – and was told by doctors he almost died several times.
He was hit by Ianson in his Honda Civic after he had crossed the A689 Belle Vue Way near Hartlepool town centre on Saturday, October 17 last year.
Half-an-hour before the collision, he was seen on another driver's onboard camera doing 60mph in the 40mph zone, Teesside Crown Court heard.
The victim was taken to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where doctors also found bleeding inside his skull, said prosecutor David Crook.
Judge Peter Armstrong told Ianson: "It is only as a result of the considerable support of his family that he has been able to make the progress he has.
"These are life-changing injuries as far as Mr Flounders is concerned, and they simply cannot be overlooked by a sentence other than immediate custody."
David Lamb, mitigating, said father-of-three Ianson was a decent, hard-working man, with a clean driving record, who has been left devastated.
Mr Lamb told the court that there was no evidence that the cocaine impaired his driving, he had shown "genuine remorse" and asked for leniency.
Other motorists who saw the black hatchback described it as "absolutely flying" and "as though its engine was being pushed hard in a high gear".
A passer-by who tended to the victim, and saw Ianson after he got from his damaged car told how "his eyes were strange and he appeared out-of-it".
Mr Crook said he had lost control of the Honda because of excessive speed, it struck a signpost, went into a spin across the road and hit Mr Flounders.
The mobility scooter and its rider were thrown into the air, while the car continued to spin and collided with a Mercedes driven by a woman, aged 69.
Ianson, of Kesteven Road, Hartlepool, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and having a level of a controlled drug over the limit.
*THE victim of the devastating crash has told how his close-knit family have helped him through "the nightmare".
Anthony Flounders, 68, has used a mobility scooter since damaging his back in an industrial accident 17 years ago.
The grandfather suffered life-threatening injuries when he was hit by an out-of-control car in October last year.
He remembers nothing more until waking up in hospital two weeks later, and was told he had been hallucinating.
He suffered internal bleeding ten days after the accident and had intensive care surgery to save his life.
In a statement, he told how he is now also deaf in one ear, cannot dress himself and is unable to use the stairs.
"I still feel very bitter and angry about what he did to me," said Mr Flounders. "I was very lucky to be alive.
"The doctors said I could have lost my leg. My family and I have been through emotional hell since the incident."
He told how he is supported "every hour of every day" by his wife of 48 years, Dot, and their doting family.
And he told of his frustration at how long the case took to reach court, and anger at the driver waiting until the day of his trial to plead guilty.