A young man who overtook at speed on a blind bend and crashed into an oncoming vehicle, injuring the female driver, has been jailed.
Oliver Michael Hughes from Wrexham described his own driving as “idiotic”, Mold Crown Court was told.
Both he and work colleague Adrian Bonin were driving at about 60mph when they left work on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
The prosecution accepted that they were not racing but Hughes pulled out to overtake Bonin and crashed head-on into a Nissan Transporter being driven by Johanna Walsh in the opposite direction with her four-year-old daughter in the vehicle.
Judge David Hale said Mrs Walsh was right when she indicated that it could have been a lot worse but for the fact she was driving a large vehicle which was written off in the impact.
Hughes, 21, of Norman Road, was jailed for 10 months and banned from driving for three years and five months.
Bonin, 31, of Acton Park Way, Acton, Wrexham, received a six month prison sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.
He was also banned from driving for two-and-a-half years.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.
Judge Hale said driving a car was a privilege which came “with high responsibility”. It was “a lethal weapon” when driven fast or inappropriately.
He said it all started when Bonin chose to drive at 60mph in a 30mph area as he left work with Hughes behind him, the judge said.
It was a busy area with industrial unit, a gym and other premises with lots of people leaving work at just before 5pm.
Bonin, he said, chose to drive at an extraordinary speed with Hughes, who he knew had a propensity to take risks, following him.
“You carry on at 60mph even when you realise he is about to overtake you in a lunatic position on a blind left hand bend,” the judge told Bonin.
Hughes chose to follow him at speed and overtake when he could not see what was coming.
“That was deliberate, stupid, risk taking by you,” Judge Hale told Hughes.
The mother driving coming the other way was confronted by a car on the wrong side of the road.
Judge Hale said Hughes’ grandfather had been seriously hurt in a road crash previously but he had not learnt from that.
“I wonder what youe family thought should happen to the person who caused those injuries to your grandfather,” he said.
Brian Treadwell, prosecuting, said the crash happened at Miners Lane in Llay on May 24 last year.
Hughes’ Peugeot car collided with Johanna Walsh’s Nissan Transporter vehicle head-on as she drove in the opposite direction.
She was with her daughter in the vehicle on her way to pick up another daughter from a nearby gym.
Mrs Walsh suffered a painful split and separated shoulder blade injury and whiplash together with ligament damage.
Hughes, the barrister said, could consider himself lucky.
He broke two vertebrae in his back and was in a body brace for three months and off work for six months.
Footage from a police body worn cam of the scene after the crash was played to the court.
Bonin was travelling at 60mph and Hughes at 69mph in the 30mph area.
Hughes described his own driving as “idiotic” and stupid behaviour.
In a victim impact statement Mrs Walsh said the collision was extremely distressing.
Suzanne Hargraves, for Hughes, said it had been a moment of utter stupidity when her client, who was naïve, overtook at speed.
He was painfully aware of the consequences of his actions and that they could have been much worse.
She suggested a suspended sentence.
Matthew Curtis, for Bonin, said he could have and should have slowed down.
He had not been racing and at one stage had been trying to get away from Hughes.
His wife, who had since had his baby, had told how he was now a broken man who had almost lost the will to live after what had happened.
“He knows he has done wrong,” said Mr Curtis.