Mum flung from boot after ‘lunatic’ drink driver reached 100mph and hit tree
A drink driver who crammed six passengers into his car then crashed it into a tree whilst driving at speeds of up to 100mph has been jailed for two years.
Apprentice manual worker Keelan Nugent, 20, was driving like a ‘lunatic’ in his tiny VW Polo, a court heard.
He had offered to give his friends a lift a home but squeezed so many people into his car, one woman agreed to get into the boot.
Despite being warned to drive slowly, Nugent put his foot down, jumped two sets of red traffic lights and ignored all requests to stop.
His car careered off the road when it clipped a traffic island as he attempted to drive round it the wrong way.
Estate agent Tyler Wilson, 23, who was in the boot of the car was flung from the vehicle as he spun into bushes and trees and sustained severe injuries including a fracture to the spine.
The mother of one is expected to develop a stoop in later life due to her wounds and is said to be “suicidal.”
Three other people in the car were also taken to hospital for various injuries.
Tests revealed Nugent, from Heywood, Greater Manchester was almost one and a half times the alcohol limit and has also been snorting cocaine.
In a statement Miss Wilson said: “Since my involvement in the collision my life has been a constant struggle. My injuries are not healing properly and I’m likely to be in pain for the rest of my life and it is likely I will develop a stoop.
“I have been off work for 12-weeks causing me to fall into rent arrears in the home I share with my five-year-old son leaving me feeling suicidal.
“Keelan has shown very little or no remorse towards me he had been trying to make it out to be all my fault for getting into the boot. I know it was foolish but had I had any knowledge he was drunk or taking drugs I wouldn’t have got in.
“He was fully aware I was in the boot I would expect him to be more careful. I have felt trapped both financially and emotionally since the incident.”
At Minshull Street Crown Court, Nugent, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, drink driving and drug driving. he was also banned from driving for six years.
The incident occurred on July 13 last year after the youngsters met during a night out in Rochdale.
Brian Berlyne prosecuting: “Tyler, her sister Jenna and Jenna’s fiance went to bars and clubs and then decided in the early hours that they should head home.
“During the course of the evening Jenna’s fiance had met Mr Nugent and he offered a lift home to a number of people including their party.
“There was insufficient room for all of them in his car unless one of them travelled in the boot so it was decided that Tyler would get in the boot.
“She agreed only after she was assured by Mr Nugent he would drive carefully but she was unaware he had consumed a significant amount of alcohol and had been taking drugs.”
Mr Berlyne said Miss Wilson noticed Nugent starting to speed up when he began driving.
Her sister noticed that Nugent was driving at more than 100mph, the court heard.
“He drove through two sets of traffic lights and she shouted at him to slow down and Tyler shouted ‘stop it’ from the boot,” Mr Berlyne said.
“Jenna’s fiance describes him as driving extremely fast and that requests to slow down were ignored.
“He slowed as he approached a speed camera but then accelerated as he passed it. Passengers estimated he was driving at 80 miles per hour as they approached a traffic island.
“He attempted to pass the island on the wrong side of the road and then clipped the island. The vehicle left the road, spinning into bushes and trees.”
The court heard Miss Wilson’s sister got out to check on her after the crash.
She found her lying in the bushes nearby with a damaged lung and fractures to her collar bone, shoulder blade, ribs and spine.
The mum, who also suffered injuries to her head, face and hands, stayed in hospital for two weeks.
Mr Berlyne said: “Police who attended saw Nugent’s vehicle on its side within the bush.
“Nugent approached the officer told him he had been driving the vehicle and was asked to provide a breath sample which was positive and he was arrested and taken to hospital.
“In interview he confirmed he had consumed alcohol and cocaine, he admitted his driving was dangerous but denied he knew anyone was in the boot of the car.
“There is evidence of grossly excessive speed and he drove through two sets of red traffic lights.”
Tests showed Nugent had 114 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
The legal alcohol limit in blood is 80ml. He also had 56 micrograms of Benzoylecgonine, a bi-product of cocaine in his system – the limit being 50mg.
In a statement to the court Nugent said: “I would like to apologise for putting myself before the court and I would like to express my deepest regret and remorse for my behaviour.
“I would like to apologise to the persons involved and injured in the incident. I have let myself, my family and my friends down as well as my girlfriend.
“It was my actions that day that resulted in people being injured I can only blame myself for the injuries.
“There are no excuses for what happened, and I take full responsibility for my actions – I can only promise it won’t happen again.
“I am horrified by what I have done this is my first and only driving offence. I deeply regret it and I’m embarrassed for my family and myself.”
In mitigation, defence lawyer David Bruce said: “This is a very sad case he is now 20 years of age since leaving school he has been working very hard and successfully completed an apprenticeship which involved him going to college.
“What he did on that evening was completely out of character for him, he accepts that he shouldn’t have been driving that vehicle at that speed, he accepts he couldn’t have taken alcohol and drugs.
“He and his father spoke to the officers in the case and asked that his remorse and sympathy be passed to the young woman who was in hospital. He also sent a text message saying he was sorry for what he has done.”
He added that the defendant’s remorse was genuine, adding that two of the passengers in the car were in court to support him.
But Judge John Potter told Nugent: “You increased the speed of the motor vehicle it is estimated your speed was between 80 to 100 mph in a 30 mph zone.
“Whilst behaving in this way – bluntly like a lunatic – you were being told by others in the vehicle to slow down no least Tyler who became increasingly fearful for her safety.
“I have seen photographs of the scene of the collision the car is completely written off and is on it’s roof that collision directly caused injuries to four people three of whom were still in the car when the vehicle came to a halt.
“They were extremely lucky to have escaped with minor injuries, Tyler did not.
“She was thrown from the back of the car out of the boot while collision occurred when her sister got out of the car to find out where she was she discovered in horror that Tyler had been projected some distance and was now lying seriously injured in the bushes.”