Driver banned after bungee bonnet crash

A SUFFOLK driver is banned from the road today after a woman was seriously injured when he was forced to stop in the fast lane of the A14.Hairdresser Chantell Vorster was a passenger in Joshua Caley's Volkswagen Golf, which a court heard was unsafe to be on the road.

A SUFFOLK driver is banned from the road today after a woman was seriously injured when he was forced to stop in the fast lane of the A14.

Hairdresser Chantell Vorster was a passenger in Joshua Caley's Volkswagen Golf, which a court heard was unsafe to be on the road.

The car's bonnet was secured only by a bungee strap, which broke at speed flipping the bonnet up into the windscreen.

Caley, 19, of Aldham Road, Hadleigh, had remained in the fast lane of the A14 Felixstowe to Ipswich road despite the bonnet “bouncing like a rubber ball” as he drove the car faster, magistrates in Ipswich heard.


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Miss Vorster, of Hintlesham, told police Caley “giggled childishly” at the sight of the vibrating bonnet and continued driving.

Gareth Davies, prosecuting at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Monday , said: “The strap snapped, the bonnet flipped up and smashed the windscreen. He stopped in the outside lane when he should have made some effort to get over to the other side.”

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Mr Davies said Miss Vorster wanted to get out of the car but Caley said to stay in while he phoned his mother for advice.

Mr Davies said a car then slammed into the back of the Golf and ended up further along the road upside down.

Mr Davies said: “Miraculously the people in that vehicle got out unscathed, but unfortunately Miss Vorster must have sustained most of the impact and suffered serious fractures to her pelvis and is still being treated.”

Miss Vorster, 20, told police: “I remember the seatbelt pulling across my chest, everything went quiet but I was screaming.”

She said she suffered an asthma attack as she sat trapped in the car and was eventually released by fire crews.

Roger Stewart, mitigating, said Miss Vorster was a friend of Caley's and she had persuaded him to give her a lift to Felixstowe to get a tattoo.

He said Caley, a former hotel worker, had fractured his spine in the accident but was now fully recovered. He apologised for what had happened.

District Judge David Cooper said of Caley: “He was deeply irresponsible but he has pleaded guilty and has no previous convictions.

“He has caused a great amount of pain and suffering to himself and to her. A fire engine was called out and hundreds of people were inconvenienced. The carriageway must have been blocked for some time.”

Caley, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, was electronically tagged and had a curfew between 9pm and 6am for three months.

He was placed on a supervision order for 12 months and told to go on the Think First injury prevention programme.

He was disqualified from driving for a year and told he would have to take an extended driving test before getting his licence back.

Caley was ordered to pay £55 towards court costs. No order for compensation was made as Mr Stewart said it would be dealt with by an insurance company.

CHANTELL Vorster criticised the sentence given to the driver who left her with serious injuries following a crash.

Miss Vorster, 20, of California Lane, Hintlesham, said she is still in pain following the crash caused by Joshua Caley's dangerous driving, but was hoping to get her life back on track soon.

She said: “I thought he would get a bit more, I don't know what but a bit more. He put a lot of people's lives in danger. He could have killed someone.

“I hope he has learnt his lesson, I hope he doesn't tie a bonnet down with a bungee cord.

“For me the aftermath is still going on, I don't have flashbacks all the time any more but even fast walking is hard for me.

“I don't want to look at him and have a lot of anger against him.

“Now I just want to put it behind me and move on and I don't want to think about it.”

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