TWO police officers had to be cut out of their vehicle after a drug driver emerged from a back lane “blind” and ploughed into the force car, a court heard.

One of the officers was rendered briefly unconscious and the other, who suffered more serious injuries, feared he would have been killed had the impact happened a second earlier.

Durham Crown Court heard that uninsured and unlicensed motorist Christopher John Nash, who had led police on a high-speed chase in the early hours prior to the collision, abandoned the silver Ford Focus he had been driving, and fled with a female passenger on foot.

John Crawford, prosecuting, said both were found hiding in a nearby lock-up unit, in Murton, after police received information from members of the public.

Nash gave a positive roadside test for the presence of cocaine in his system but refused to provide a blood sample when taken to a police station.

Mr Crawford said although Nash initially denied having been the driver of the Focus, he made admissions after traces of his dna were found on the car’s inflated air-bag.

Read more: County Durham man denies dangerous driving in police chase

The court heard the pursuit began earlier after police motor patrol officers noticed the Focus being driven at speed in the Peterlee area, at 12.50am on June 17, last year.

Nash drove off at speeds reaching 100-miles per hour in a 70-limit area and at 90mph in a 60 zone.

Although the officers in the initial police vehicle backed off due to the dangerous speed reached by Nash, other force cars picked up the pursuit as he continued to drive, “without regard” for other road users.

As a result of the collision, in Coronation Street, one officer sustained a fractured wrist among a number of injuries and is still suffering with possible nerve damage in his lower back, which has led him to quitting his role of 18 years with the police support unit.

His colleague suffered a broken hip bone, a leg injury and a tight chest causing breathing difficulties.

Nash, 41, of Woods Terrace, Murton, admitted two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, plus no insurance, no licence and failing to provide a breath specimen.

Mr Crawford said Nash’s record of motoring offences include two for drug-driving, one committed only three weeks before the incident on June 17.

Richard Herrmann, for Nash, said he realises that by his actions that night he has cost himself the opportunity to train as a mechanic on a college course, with the prospect of a job at the end.

Mr Herrman said since the incident his client has gone, “completely cold turkey”, not touching any illicit substance.

“Through me, he wishes to express his determination to end his abuse of drugs for the rest of his life.

“He wishes to express deep regret and remorse for the effects on the two officers and fully understands the danger he caused.”

Judge James Adkin told Nash his were “deliberate actions”, risking serious injury to the officers, other road users and his own passenger.

He imposed a 26-month prison sentence and banned Nash from driving for four years and one month.

Following the case, a Durham Constabulary spokesman said: “This was a nasty incident in which Nash has made off from the police and driven at speed along public roads, showing a total disregard for the safety of other road users.

“He has crashed head-on into a marked police vehicle, then made off from the car on foot whilst the officers required medical attention. 

“He was detained a short distance away and his DNA was recovered from the driver’s airbag.

“I am pleased that he received the custodial sentence his offending deserved.”

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