Sunderland factory worker fled scene of collision with taxi that left elderly couple injured

A Sunderland factory worker has been handed a six-month driving ban after injuring an elderly couple by losing control of his car and smashing into the taxi they were in.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 6:00 am

Steven Ridley, 41, of Rupert Square, Red House, then drove off in his black Vauxhall Astra and took himself to hospital to have his own injuries treated, a court heard.

He left behind an 87-year-old male victim who suffered a fractured sternum, and his wife, who had whiplash injuries after the accident in Rotherfield Road, Hylton Red House, on Sunday, November 3.

Ridley handed himself in to police on discharge from hospital, even though officers had an incorrect description of his vehicle and were unlikely to have traced him, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told.

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “He says that he couldn’t report to the police because he was in hospital as a result of this accident. It matters not.

“What seems to have happened is that it was very wet on the day and he is driving on Rotherfield Road and loses control of the vehicle.

“He seems to spin the car around, and it strikes into another vehicle, a taxi carrying two elderly people. The taxi driver says that he was quite clearly going quickly.”

Greg Flaxen, defending, said: “It was his mother’s birthday who had passed sometime before and his mind was on other things.

“His vehicle has turned after hitting the curb. He hit the taxi front on and the side of his car.

“Ten seconds earlier, ten seconds later and it would have been only his vehicle that would have spun in the road and nothing would have happened.

“He’s not used to the police, he’s not used to the courts, he’s panicked and driven away. He’s then had to attend hospital.

“After leaving he was going to attend the police station but as you know it’s shut from 8pm at night. He attends first thing the next day and fully accepts the offence.

“The initial evidence for the police was that a silver Vauxhall Corsa was involved. His is a black Astra.

“Unfortunately, two elderly people have been in the car which slightly aggravates the offence.”

Ridley was also fined £303 and ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to failing to stop after a road accident.

He also pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, for which there was no separate penalty.