THIS is the moment when a car left the road and landed on its roof in the central reservation of the A1(M) in a horror crash earlier this year.

The Vauxhall Astra “teetered” on the edge of the flyover before dropping and landing on its roof in the central reservation of the motorway, between the northbound and southbound carriageways, at the Bowburn interchange in County Durham, at about 10.30am on Friday January 21.

Read more: Driver of car which left flyover and landed on A1(M) in horror crash jailed

Durham Crown Court heard that as passing motorists went to their aid, Hugh Raymond Holmes kicked open the driver’s side door and tried to leave the scene, blaming his partner, who he left unconscious in the car, for the driving.

Paramedics provided initial assistance at the scene for Holmes’ partner, who was thrown onto the inside of the Astra roof, as it lay upside down.

She was flown by air ambulance to hospital where she was found to be suffering a bleed on the brain, multiple fractures of the spine, a broken neck, a smashed right knee and five dislodged teeth.

She has received various surgical intervention since, including having a plate fitted to the knee, and three months later still uses a wheelchair, although he said that is not expected to be, “a lifelong situation”.

The car belonged to the son of Holmes’ partner, who rang asking for its return, after being taken without his permission at about 9am that day.

Read more: Horror crash sees car leave flyover and land on the A1(M) near Durham

He was greeted on the phone by an almost incoherent response by his mother and Holmes, telling him he would not be getting it back.

Almost 90 minutes later another motorist saw Holmes’ passenger apparently trying to get out of the car at a junction, amid what seemed to be a row.

Holmes then approached a junction on the A688, overtaking cars dangerously, and ignoring a red light, driving onto the Bowburn interchange roundabout, where the Astra struck a van, careered across three lanes and went through the barriers, before it fell onto the A1(M) below.

In court today, Holmes, 32, of Tudhoe Moor, Spennymoor, was said to have 28 previous convictions for 48 offences, including several for violence, but others for dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and while over the limit.

He was also banned from driving in July 2020, which he was subject to at the time of the incident.

Imposing the 32-month sentence, including a one-third discount to reflect Holmes’ guilty pleas, Judge Ray Singhbanned him from driving for a further three years and 41 weeks.

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