Driver fined for collision which caused ‘life changing injuries’

14:33 25 April 2014

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

Archant

The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention in collision which ‘launched’ car into air causing driver life changing injuries.

A WOMAN who escaped a collision unhurt while the other driver suffered ‘life changing’ injuries has been given seven penalty points.

Nicola Stoneman, 25, of Ventown Farm, Okehampton, pleaded guilty to causing the collision at Winkleigh by driving without due care and attention on January 13.

The court heard she had been driving down the A3214 – a road she drove every day for work – at ‘no excessive speed’ when she lost control of the rear end of her car.

Witnesses said the end of her Peugeot shot out and in correcting the error, Stoneman managed to veer into the opposite carriageway and collide with the Ford Puma.

The Puma ‘seemed to launch into the air’ said a witness at the scene, leaving the driver Nigel Holmes trapped and with multiple injuries.

Mr Holmes was cut from the car by fire crews and airlifted to Derriford Hospital with broken legs, a fractured and dislocated elbow and cuts to his knee and head.

His injuries were described as ‘life changing’ and the court heard he had to be put into a coma in hospital due to a chest infection and is now in a wheelchair.

Rod Ball, defending, said Stoneman had new rear tyres put on the car a few days before the incident and thought maybe this had caused an imbalance. Collision investigations found no faults with the vehicle.

Mr Ball said Stoneman, who was uninjured in the collision, was very familiar with the road and was ‘absolutely devastated’ by what had happened to Mr Holmes.

Presiding magistrate Robin Hagley told Stoneman: “We can only imagine what the results of that accident and the ongoing effects on you are.

“We realise it was a misjudgement, you were not speeding, and you must know that road very well as you use it a lot. But this is aggravated by the very serious injuries.”

Stoneman was fined £250, give seven penalty points and ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £25 victim surcharge.

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