‘I'm going to kill us both’: Danger driver's chilling vow as he steered camper van into head on smash

A danger driver deliberately swerved his converted camper van into the path of oncoming traffic after warning his passenger girlfriend ‘I'm going to kill us both’ during a row.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 5:07 pm
Bradley Smith caused a head-on horror crash involving his converted camper van and a Nissan Juke on the A688 at Staindrop in County Durham

Bradley Smith, who was twice the limit for alcohol and 11 times the limit for cocaine, caused a head-on horror crash with a Nissan Juke on the A688 at Staindrop in County Durham and left the stranger who was driving it with a broken breastbone and a lesion on her liver.

Smith's girlfriend, who was placed in a medically induced coma after the crash, later withdrew her support for the prosecution.

She was left with cuts and bruises to her face and a laceration to her leg, with injured ligaments that required a splint.

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Bradley Smith was twice the limit for alcohol and 11 times the limit for cocaine when he caused a head-on horror crash.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Smith, 37, and his girlfriend has been on an overnight camping trip at Weardale, in his converted Fiat Ducato van on January 11 and had been drinking but not slept.

An argument broke out the following morning and they stopped off at Barnard Castle on the way home, where Smith's partner bought more vodka.

Prosecutor Daniel Cordey told the court the argument continued as Smith drove them towards his home and added: "The defendant shouted 'I'm going to kill you, in fact, I'm going to kill us both'.

"The defendant then deliberately steered his van onto the opposite side of the road and into the oncoming carriageway and the traffic approaching him."

The scene of the collision.

The court heard the driver of the Nissan Juke had just "seconds to brace for impact" and had no chance of avoiding a smash.

Mr Cordey added: "When he deliberately drove into the opposite carriageway she managed to slow down to about 50mph before a head-on collision occurred.

"She had no opportunity or time to avoid collision."

The court heard after the collision Smith was seen to take a drink from the vodka bottle and was "agitated and unco-operative" when the police arrived.

While restrained on a grass verge he lashed out and caused an injury to a police officer's knee, which was swollen and bruised.

The Juke driver was left out of pocket as her insurance pay-out was not enough to buy a new car and she lost wages due to having two months off work.

She suffered pain, flashbacks and sleepless nights.

Smith, of Gregson Terrace, Seaham, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, unlawful wounding and assault on an emergency worker.

Paul Abrahams, defending, said Smith was in a "fit of rage" when he drove across the carriageway and has since sought help for his drug and alcohol abuse.

Judge Penny Moreland sentenced him to three years and nine months behind bars with a two year driving ban, which starts after his release.

Judge Moreland told him: "You were driving home with your partner after a night spent camping in your converted van.

"You had been drinking to excess and taking cocaine.

"You and your partner became involved in an argument and, as Mr Abrahams describes as a fit of rage, you said to her you were going to kill her, in fact you were going to kill the two of you and you deliberately drove your van into oncoming traffic."

The judge added: "You made a deliberate decision to ignore the rules of road. You deliberately drove into oncoming traffic."

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