Man who caused Link Road pile up admits careless driving

13:45 14 February 2014

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

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Barnstaple man veered into oncoming traffic causing collision which broke another driver’s back.

A DRIVER has pleaded guilty to driving carelessly after his car veered onto the opposite carriageway causing a crash which broke another driver’s back.

Peter Woolacott, 30, of St Marys Road in Barnstaple, told North Devon Magistrates’ Court today (Friday) that he ‘did not know’ what had caused him to veer across the road.

Prosecutor Sonia Croft told the court Woolacott has come around a left-hand bend on the North Devon Link Road on September 26, but continued in a straight line.

He ploughed into the oncoming traffic, causing a collision with two other cars in which one driver broke his back and another suffered cuts and extensive bruising.

Mrs Croft said there seemed to have been some sort of ‘prolonged distraction’ which had caused the incident and it was possible Woolacott had fallen asleep.

Woolacott, who was unrepresented in court, said he had been driving home after a short holiday and was ‘not in any race or rush’ to get home.

“I can’t think what happened or what made the incident happened,” he said.

“I’m just really sorry that it has happened. All I remember was the air bags going off and bangs like the sound of an explosion.”

Magistrates heard the cars, which were all severely damaged in the collision, were being dealt with through insurance.

Woolacott escaped a disqualification after telling magistrates it could affect his job, and had his licence endorsed with eight penalty points.

He was also fined £350 and made to pay costs of £60 and a victim surcharge of £33.

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