Driver had five lagers the night before serious crash
A van driver who left a man with serious injuries after crashing into his car while over the drinkdrive limit has been jailed.
Andrew Mitchell, 54, crashed his white Transit van into a red Ford Fiesta, on the A20 Hythe Road in Smeeth at 6.15am on March 26 last year.
The collision left the Fiesta’s driver James Setterfield with fractures to his leg, face and fingers, a lacerated spleen, a dislocated elbow and a punctured lung.
Mitchell, from Eltham in south east London, who suffered serious leg and hip injuries in the crash, later pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and to drink-driving.
Canterbury Crown Court heard that visibility was good at the time of the crash, and that Mr Mitchell would have had 12 seconds to see Mr Setterfield’s car before colliding with it.
Defence barrister Lisa Wilson said Mitchell accepted the seriousness of the crime, was remorseful, and apologised to Mr Setterfield and his family.
He had also been seriously injured and was likely to need a hip replacement due to the likelihood of arthritis developing from his injuries.
But Judge James O’Mahony said he had been reckless to get behind the wheel after drinking approximately five pints of lager the night before, and having only four hours sleep before getting behind the wheel to drive at 3am.
“You just utterly failed to take account of or see the vehicle driven by Mr Setterfield and that resulted in you embedding your vehicle into his, causing him very serious injury,” said Judge O’Mahony.
He also noted that Mitchell had two previous convictions for drink-driving, albeit from over 17 years ago.
“You must have known it was madness to drink so much at night and drive so early,” he said.
“Of course I appreciate that five pints of lager on a Friday night for some people is not a huge amount, but it certainly is if you’re driving the next day early in the morning.”
He sentenced Mitchell to 28 months in prison, and disqualified him from driving for three years and two months.
The scene of the accident in Smeeth