Driver jailed for causing head-on collision which left victim with life-changing injuries - The Rugby Observer

Driver jailed for causing head-on collision which left victim with life-changing injuries

A CRASH victim had to sell his home and move into a bungalow because of leg injuries he suffered in a head-on smash with a BMW which was overtaking a lorry on a bend.

BMW driver Rayan Owais initially denied causing serious injury by dangerous driving, claiming his actions in overtaking two cars and the lorry on the A426 near Rugby were not dangerous.

But shortly before his case was due to be listed for trial, Owais, 39, of Albert Road, Aston, Birmingham, changed his plea to guilty – and was jailed for two years.

Prosecutor Matthew Barnes said the life-changing crash happened at 10.45pm on May 10 last year on the A426 between junction 1 of the M1 and the Gibbett Lane roundabout near Rugby.

There was a head-on collision between Owais’ BMW and a Jaguar being driven by the now 60-year-old victim, who had been visiting a relative in Rugby.

Owais, who runs a vehicle recovery business, had been diverted off the M6 because of road works, making the A426 busier than normal at that time of night.

There was a steady flow of traffic doing 40-45mph, and Owais, who was not familiar with the road, was being directed by his sat-nav to do a u-turn.

He took a ‘a significant risk’ to get past a large lorry so he would have a better view of diversion signs ahead, and was alongside it when the collision took place.

Another driver saw Owais overtake him and another car at speed before attempting to overtake the lorry without pulling in, even though he had room to do so.

That driver said he saw the victim’s oncoming headlights but did not see the BMW’s brake lights come on before the two cars collided.

And the lorry driver said he considered Owais’s driving to be ‘irresponsible or even suicidal’.

But Mr Barnes said Owais may not have seen the headlights because he was alongside the lorry and there was a slight left-hand bend.

The Jaguar driver was trapped in his car by his ankles, which were both fractured, and he also had other injuries including a number of broken ribs.

He was in hospital for nine weeks, during which he suffered anxiety and depression, and he says it has affected him psychologically, particularly when driving at night.

He used to enjoy dancing but now walks with the aid of a stick, and had to move to a bungalow because he can’t climb stairs.

Mr Barnes said Owais told the police he believed he had a clear view of the road and that it was safe to overtake.

Tanveer Qureshi, defending, said: “I accept this was clearly a dangerous piece of driving, but it is a combination of factors which has led to this terrible incident.

“There was a diversion and a tail-back of traffic on this road, and that, coupled with the fact that he was unfamiliar with the road and needed to get somewhere, led to this.

“He is in the vehicle recovery business, and as part of that he works with a number of police forces and is often at such scenes, and he can’t believe how he has ended up in this situation himself.”

Mr Qureshi, who said Owais also suffered serious injuries including a bleed to the bowel which led to him contracting sepsis, argued: “Sending him to prison would result in him losing his business. Another way of dealing with this is a suspended sentence hanging over his head.”

But jailing Owais, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “You ploughed into the car of (the victim), who was doing a perfectly normal speed, and you caused him very severe injuries. They are truly life-changing injuries.

“You are often at the scene of this sort of accident, so you above all people should be aware of the effects of such accidents.

“It must be an immediate sentence. The message must go out that if you drive a car dangerously and injure other people, you must go to prison.”


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