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Wrexham drink driver ploughed into police car at 90mph

Published date: 24 March 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A POLICEMAN was forced to dive into a central reservation to escape a speeding drink driver.

Gareth Williams was “oblivious” to the officer’s pleas to slow down on the approach to a serious accident.

Police estimated that he was driving at 90 mph before he ploughed into a police car parked across the Wrexham by-pass because of the danger ahead.

A judge said Williams’ dangerous driving, just three days before Christmas, was so bad he was lucky not to be facing multiple manslaughter charges.

Williams, 36, of Bryn Gwenfro Road, Tanyfron, Wrexham, admitted dangerous driving at Mold Crown Court and was jailed for 12 months. He was also banned from driving for three years.

Michael Whitty, prosecuting, said that on December 22 there had been a serious accident on the northbound dual carriageway of the A483 just outside Wrexham when a 4x4 overturned its farm trailer.

There were dead sheep in the carriageway.

It was about 6pm and dark with a lot of traffic on the road and police rushed to the scene to safely divert drivers onto a nearby slip road.

“A constable attended in his Series 3 BMW and angled it at about 45 degrees to divert traffic up the sliproad using his hazard warning lights and traffic cones to warn approaching motorists,” said Mr Whitty.

Some members of the community arrived to try and help with the dead animals.

“The defendant was approaching on the A483 entirely oblivious to the PC who could see that he was travelling in excess of the speed limit.

“The PC was wearing a fluorescent jacket and tried waving his arms to attract his attention.

“He became increasingly alarmed and picked up a traffic cone in a desperate attempt to get his attention.

“When he realised he was not going to stop, the officer jumped onto the central reservation barrier and felt the rush of air from the defendant’s vehicle passing him.

“If the PC had not noticed him, the outcome could have been much more serious,” Mr Whitty explained.

“The defendant’s car ran through the cones and smashed into the BMW before careering into the embankment.

“Much to everyone’s surprise, the defendant emerged from his vehicle unscathed.”

After he was arrested a breath test showed Williams had an alcohol reading of 71 microgrammes compared to the legal limit of 35 – twice the legal limit.

The BMW suffered £8,000 worth of damage.

The judge, Mr Recorder Simon Mills said: “I understand there were about half a dozen pedestrians in the carriageway from the local community who were trying to help and even a small child in the vicinity.

“On the face of it this seems to be a completely deliberate piece of driving, with speeds estimated by the PC at about 90mph – although I accept there is no proof of that.”

Ceri Evans, defending, said Williams had his licence revoked by the DVLA at the time and was driving without insurance, but it was at least more than 10 years since his last driving conviction, which included driving with excess alcohol.

Unemployed Williams, lived with his mother who was in poor health and a disabled brother, both of whom depended on him to some extent.

Willliams had unfortunately decided to jump in his car after drinking in order to get some money to buy a Christmas present for his four -year- old daughter over whom he had joint custody.

The judge said: “You had no insurance, your driving licence was revoked and you were more than twice the legal drink drive limit and you not only got in your car but drove in this extraordinary way, either oblivious or ignoring desperate attempts to stop you ploughing into a police car or worse.

“If you had not ploughed into the police vehicle the likelihood is you would have killed several people.

“The officer made desperate attempts to stop you but you didn’t. Mercifully you did not kill anyone and you don’t appear to have caused significant injuries, but you must have terrified people already at the scene trying to deal with a difficult situation. It is difficult to imagine a more serious offence of its type.”

He sentenced Williams to 12 months in prison for dangerous driving and four months for drink driving to run concurrent, with no separate penalties for driving without a licence and insurance. He was also ordered to take an extended driving test when his three year ban expires.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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