A YOUNG woman left three people with devastating injuries when she drove onto the wrong side of the road and smashed head-on into a Land Rover travelling in the opposite direction.
Both occupants of the Land Rover were severely injured in the collision in south Warwickshire, and Laura Woodfield’s own passenger was also badly hurt.
And a judge said he was ‘troubled’ by the fact she seemed to feel more remorse for her boyfriend’s injuries than those suffered by the couple in the Land Rover.
She had initially denied causing serious injuries by dangerous driving, and only pleaded guilty to the charge on the day of her trial at Warwick Crown Court.
But the 25-year-old, of Bitham Road, Lighthorne Heath, narrowly escaped an immediate custodial sentence.
She was sentenced to 13 months in prison suspended for two years, and was ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work and to take part in a rehabilitation activity.
Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said the Land Rover – driven by a woman who was with her partner – was driving along the Wormleighton road from Fenny Compton towards Wormleighton around 8.30pm on April 14 last year.
As the Land Rover went round a bend it smashed into Woodfield’s VW Golf which was on the wrong side of the road.
People in the car behind the Land Rover stopped and rushed to help, and Woodfield got out of the car shouting for help for her boyfriend who was severely injured and unconscious.
The driver managed to get out of the Land Rover and sat down, while her partner remained in the vehicle, bleeding and in severe pain.
Woodfield told police she had been driving back from the pub, where she had only been drinking orange juice, when she saw the Land Rover heading towards her on her side of the road.
But Mr Simpson said the evidence was overwhelming the Land Rover was on the correct side of the road, and the Golf on the wrong side.
The court heard the Land Rover driver suffered a bleed to her brain as a result of the crash, and her partner had multiple facial fractures including displaced fractures to his cheekbones, his eye socket, his upper jaw and his nose.
He has been left with ‘a significant facial deformity’ and is awaiting further surgery.
And Woodfield’s boyfriend had a fractured right femur, two fractures to his left leg and a broken forearm.
Nick Devine, defending, said Woodfield was also injured, with a broken foot and internal bruising, and her boyfriend, who had recovered, remained her partner.
“After the collision she did everything possible to help,” added Mr Devine, and since then she has undertaken a driving course and has had 23 sessions of counselling to come to terms with what she did.
Referring to the pre-sentence report on Woodfield, who was also banned from driving for two-and-a-half years, Judge Lockhart said: “I am troubled by the fact that you still seem to feel more remorse for your partner than for those in the other car.
“You need in your mind to understand that it is nothing of the fault of those two people in the Land Rover that they have ended up with those injuries, it is yours.”