Driver jailed after head-on crash left young woman with life-threatening injuries - The Leamington Observer

Driver jailed after head-on crash left young woman with life-threatening injuries

A DRIVER who caused a devastating head-on crash in south Warwickshire which left a young Kenilworth woman with life-threatening injuries has been jailed.

Mark Barnes had denied causing serious injury to Hollie Smith by driving his Audi A6 estate dangerously on the B4100 Banbury Road in November 2015.

But the 51-year-old, of Hill Close, Southam, who blamed the crash on an unexpected seizure as he was driving, was found guilty after a trial at Coventry Crown Court.

And following an adjournment for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on him, he was jailed for two years and nine months by Judge Philip Gregory, who also banned him from driving for five years.

Prosecutor Peter Cooper said the crash happened on the B4100 Banbury Road at Temple Herdewyke in November 2015.

Hollie was driving back home from her job as an Yves Saint Laurent beauty account manager when Barnes’s heavy Audi veered across the road and smashed head-on into her car.

She suffered life-threatening injuries and no fewer than 27 broken bones, including crushed legs, a broken back and neck, and a fractured skull.

Hollie was given emergency treatment while she was was trapped in her car for 80 minutes before fire crews cut her free and she was rushed by ambulance to University Hospital in Coventry.

Some of her shattered bones had pushed through the skin, and her blood loss was said to have left her perilously close to death before she was given five pints of blood in hospital.

Barnes and a nine-year-old boy in his car were also injured, although far less seriously, and were also taken to hospital.

As a result of her injuries, Hollie has had a long fight-back to health, spending months in hospital, the first six weeks of it flat on her back and able to move only her arms.

Once she was able to move, she began a courageous and painful battle to walk again – progressing from a wheelchair to managing a few steps with a walking frame, then a single crutch before finally being able to walk unaided.

Barnes’s defence, supported by medical evidence, was he had suffered an epileptic-type seizure.

But Mr Cooper observed there was evidence he had suffered such episodes in the past, and had continued to drive regardless of the risk that posed.

Business Directory

From plumbers, to restaurants, we can provide you with all the info you need.


Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.