A danger driver who sparked a police hunt after a horrific hit-and-run crash left a bike rider battling serious injuries is facing jail – after being snared by a fast food restaurant receipt.
Daniel Andrews, who was already serving a road ban, had no insurance and is subjected to a suspended prison sentence, was driving at more than 60mph on the wrong side of the road and had driven through a red light when he ploughed into the back of Simon Carter’s Yamaha WR125 motorcycle.
The rider was sent “flying into the air” by the impact and Andrews, 23, of Sidney Street, Boldon Colliery, fled the scene – evading justice for nearly three weeks before finally being captured.
The victim had his pelvis broken in two places, fractured his collarbone and spent 13 days in hospital after the smash in New Road, Boldon Colliery, on December 13.
Police launched a media appeal to trace Andrews after the crash, which involved his Ford Mondeo.
Andrews was tracked down by police at an address in Chaucer Avenue, South Shields, on Saturday – where he again tried to make a dash for freedom before being detained.
A lengthy custodial sentence is inevitableDistrict Judge Roger Elsey
He was identified after police found a receipt in the vehicle, which showed he had used the drive-through at the McDonald’s branch in Newcastle Road just half an hour before the collision.
Police visited the branch and identified Andrews from CCTV footage, which captured his purchase.
DNA found on an airbag in the car and a mobile phone, which was left in the vehicle, also linked him to the hit and run.
Andrews pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
District Judge Roger Elsey sent the case to Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing – but warned Andrews a lengthy jail sentence was ‘inevitable’.
Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, said: “The defendant fled the scene and was chased on foot by police but got away. Police located him on January 2, when he again tried to flee.”
Mr Laidlaw said Andrews was considered a ‘flight risk’ and said he should stay in custody until sentencing.
Judge Elsey remanded Andrews in custody until his crown court date on January 18.
The court heard that one witness had been forced to jump for cover into a garden after Andrews’ car careered out of control after hitting the motorcycle and smashed into a bus stop and railings.
A motorist described Andrews’ car as ‘speeding with no lights on’ and his driving as ‘erratic, fast and dangerous’.
Another motorist said in a statement that Andrews had overtaken a line of six cars, was travelling on the wrong side of the road and went through a red light.
Christopher Brown, defending, said: “He has entered an immediate guilty plea at the first opportunity. He accepts his driving fell below the standard required and an injury has followed.
“He is contrite – which is supported by his immediate guilty plea.”
Judge Elsey told Andrews: “Given the injury suffered by the victim, the court’s sentencing powers are not sufficient. I will commit sentence to the crown court.
“A lengthy custodial sentence is inevitable.”