Drink driver crashed into car carrying pregnant woman after failing to stop quick enough at Sunderland traffic lights

A single mum who smashed into the back of a pregnant woman’s car while over the limit – shunting it into a police vehicle and causing her to need urgent roadside medical care - has been banned from driving.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 24th February 2020, 9:56 am

Ford Focus driver Victoria Holland, 30, of Lichfield Road, High Southwick, Sunderland, struck a Citroen which had stopped at traffic lights behind marked police car at around 11pm on Saturday, January 25, a court heard.

Shocked police checked both vehicles and suspected unemployed Holland of being drunk, but as they quizzed her they heard her victim scream out in pain – and one rushed to assist.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told the woman suffered pain in her neck and back due to the smash in North Hylton Road, Sunderland, and an ambulance was called.

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

The woman, who was 17 weeks pregnant, was taken to hospital, but it is believed there were no long-term health implications, it was said.

Holland told police she had consumed just one drink with friends, but a breath test showed she was close to twice the drink-drive limit – and the district judge hearing her case raised doubts about her claim.

A police station Camic breath test revealed a reading of 58 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck said: “The officers were at a stop for about twenty seconds. They heard a loud bang, with a Citroen having collided with their rear bumper. There was damage to the Citroen.

“An officer then sees a Ford Focus as having hit it. The driver was moving the Ford Focus slowly backwards. The officer tells the female to stop through the window.

“He then heard the Citroen driver screaming in distress and went to tend to her. The other officer continued to speak to the driver of the Focus.

“She was asked how long since her last drink and she said forty-five minutes and that she had only had one drink.

“The Citroen driver told police that she had pain in her neck and back. The officer stabilised that person. Paramedics were called and she was taken to hospital. It transpired that she was 17 weeks pregnant.”

Annalisa Moscardini, defending, said: “She was surprised to hear this woman was pregnant. She knew she had whiplash. She is mortified by both about the crash and the fact she hurt someone. She’s never been in trouble before.

“She’s never drunk and driven before, and never had a pint of alcohol before. On this occasion, she’s gone out to see friends and thought she was ok but clearly she wasn’t. She’s not someone who is likely to see the court again.”

Deputy District Judge Mark Daley told her: “This was a very unfortunate incident indeed. Fifty-eight microgrammes suggests more than just one, but I’m not going to go into that. The degree of alcohol makes this more serious.”

He banned Holland, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving, for 15 months and fined her £450 with £85 court costs and a £45 victim surcharge.