Washington lorry driver faces jail for smash which left a man blind

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A LORRY driver who caused a three-vehicle pile up which left a man blind has been warned he may be jailed.

John Peel yesterday admitted his dangerous driving caused an accident on the A19 at Sunderland in April last year.

Peel, 50, had continued driving his tipper lorry when it developed a fault which led to smoke billowing out of it.

As the smoke blocked the lorry from view to other drivers on the motorway, a Ford Ka smashed into the back of it.

A Mitsubishi 4 x 4 then slammed into the back of the Ka.

As a result of the collisions Damian Mills, who was a passenger in the Ka, suffered injuries to his spine ribs and pelvis.

He needed surgery to stop him being paralysed and at one stage was thought to be unlikely to recover.

Damien, from Washington, did pull through but has been left blind, which is believed to be as a result of nerve damage.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday Peel, of Newbank Walk, Winlaton, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

He will be sentenced during the week commencing March 25.

Judge Guy Whitburn granted him bail in the meantime.

But the judge said: “I warn you this is a very serious matter which had very distinct and unfortunate consequences.

“In the circumstances a custodial sentence cannot be ruled out.”

The court heard Peel has been a lorry driver for around 20 years.