Drunk Driver Jailed After 'Horrific' Crash

A Cradley Heath drink driver who left his two passengers with appalling injuries when he ploughed his car into a wall has been jailed.

Craig Delaney, aged 27, lost control while swerving to miss an oncoming car and hit the garden wall with such force the engine was torn out of his Vauxhall Corsa. As a result of the collision Daniel Priest who was in the front seat lost an arm after being rushed to hospital for emergency surgery.

Rebecca Burgess, a second passenger in the vehicle, was left scarred for life having been detained in intensive care for six days. She suffered a broken shoulder, seven cracked ribs and a tear in her wind pipe, Edward Soulsby, prosecuting, told Wolverhampton Crown Court.

He said doctors were unable to save Mr Priest's arm and the nature of the injury had ruled out the use of a prosthesis to replace the lost limb.

The 26-year-old chef who now cannot even cut up his own food also sustained a broken cheek bone, fractured four ribs, punctured a lung and lacerated his liver.

It was likely he would now be facing a lifetime of pain, said Mr Soulsby who told the court Delaney was driving at 68mph in a 30mph zone after downing four pints and several shots during a four hour session in a Cradley Heath bar. Mr Soulsby said Delaney, who did not have insurance or a driving licence, was on the wrong side of the road when his car clipped the kerb.

The vehicle then cannoned broadside across the street into the garden wall before rebounding into the path of another car whose driver could not avoid hitting the wreckage in Reddall Hill Road, Cradley Heath.

Delaney was catapulted into the rear seats of the Corsa and he was lying on top of the badly injured Miss Burgess who was struggling for breath. Mark Howl, the driver of the other car, pulled the defendant off her - an action that probably saved her life. Mr Simon Hunka, for Delaney, said his client could remember little of the accident adding: "It must have had something to do with bravado. He knows he made a terrible mistake."

Delaney, of Woodcroft Close, Cradley Heath, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, having excess alcohol and no insurance or licence. He was sentenced to 32 months jail and disqualified from driving for six years and four months.


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