Sunderland student banned from driving after terrifying smash left his car jammed between bus and fence
A Sunderland student has been banned from driving after he caused a terrifying smash which left his car jammed between a bus and a fence.
Automotive engineering student Rares-Gabriel Ciornei admitted dangerous driving after losing control of his Ford Focus near the Wearmouth Bridge on September 21.
The 21-year-old, was going too fast as he headed into a bend, hitting a kerb as his vehicle was sent careering into another car before crashing into the front of the bus, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.
He has now been told he has to pass an extended re-test if he wants to drive again after his 18-month ban is up.
Prosecutor Glenda Beck said: “The witness thought the vehicle was going too fast
“He says the Ford driver has just touched the brake - the brake light flashed for less than a second before going off again.
“It hit the central reservation, which caused the Ford to become airborne - he thought it was going to flip over.
“It then ended up skidding into a bus and a fence.
“He had seen it hit a Fiat, causing it to spin around.”
The witness was so concerned he asked his wife to ring the police. He believed someone was going to get hurt or killed.
“The witness said his wife felt physically sick and he drove away from the scene.”
Ciornei, of Roker Avenue, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on the basis that the light was on green when he went through it.
Tony Southwick, defending, said: “The defendant had a relatively new car to him.
“He was coming up towards the junction.
“The lights as far as he was concerned were on green.
“The CCTV from the bus showed he was travelling at 35 to 40mph.
“He is coming up there and there is a very sharp bend.
“He’s touched the brake, hit the kerb and lost control.
“He accepts the speed limit there is 30.
“He was going too fast for the environment in the circumstances.”
Mr Southwick said his client’s insurance company is dealing with the damage to the other vehicles and added that around £1,400 has already been paid out. Ciornei’s car was written off.
He said: “It was a left-hand drive car that had only recently come into his possession, six weeks ago.”
A probation report read out in court said: “Mr Ciornei tells me he accepts that he drove faster than what he should have around that bend.
“He’s clipped the kerb, he’s stepped on his brake and lost control.
“He has been living in the UK just four years.
“He is a university student, ironically studying automotive engineering.
“Only in the last year has he been driving in the UK.
“His parents are funding his study here and his university fees.
“It was a silly mistake which he fully regrets and he wishes he could turn back the clock.”
District Judge Roger Elsey said: “You are a new, inexperienced driver and until you get greater experience you are not fully competent.
“You are going to have to be off the road for some time, so you are delaying the time you will be a competent driver.
“However, I hope you have learned from this experience, because from what I have heard, you have the capacity to do well, so I hope this is your last time before a criminal court.”
Ciornei was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 150 hours’ unpaid work.
He was told to pay £85 costs and £85 surcharge.
He was disqualified from driving for 18 months and told to sit an extended driving test before driving again.