May 19 2013 Latest news:
Story by: ANDREW PAPWORTH
Monday, September 3, 2012
A LORRY driver who careered into Chris French’s Peugeot 106, leaving him with four pelvis fractures, two broken ribs, a hole in his lung and numerous cuts and bruises has escaped jail.
Andrew Elliott’s four month prison term was suspended for two years by Peterborough Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.
The 43-year-old, of Halifax Court, Gibraltar, was travelling at 8mph over the temporary 40mph speed limit when he overtook three cars and ploughed into the side of Chris’s car as he was turning into the driveway of his home off the A141 at Westry, March.
Elliott, who was banned from driving for two years and ordered to pay £750 compensation, was unharmed.
The court was told that Elliott was an experienced HGV driver of 15 years standing and otherwise had a good record but on that one day “made a terrible misjudgement”.
Interviewed before sentence Chris said of the driver who nearly killed him: “I don’t want him to drive a lorry again. If you’re going to have a lapse in concentration like that, then you shouldn’t be on the road.”
Elliott was told that only his accident free record kept him out of jail: his legal team told the judge that their client was likely to quit driving and become a security guard.
Chris,30. who was helped out of the car by an off duty police officer Teilo Pearce, his mother, Councillor Jan French, and his sister Kim. It was Kim who climbed through the sun roof to open the door to allow hs rescuers to free him. Chris spent 44 days in hospital but has no recollection of the crash.
“Driving was one of my passions and it was hard to get back in a car,” he explained. “I still have slight hesitation when lorries drive past. It is something I will never forget.”