Hit-and-run victim knows she's lucky

DRINK-DRIVE victim Danielle Spooner said she feels lucky to be alive after being hit by a car driven by a drunken teenager.

Colin Adwent

DRINK-DRIVE victim Danielle Spooner said she feels lucky to be alive after being hit by a car driven by a drunken teenager.

Miss Spooner said police told her Arron Griffiths' car hurtled into her at between 40mph and 50mph as she was crossing Ipswich Street in Stowmarket.

The 18-year-old law student said: "I'm very lucky. I'm quite fortunate I didn't die and I thank my lucky stars every day that I am still here.

"I was walking across the road. I didn't even make it to the other side, before he came up quite fast and hit me and I got knocked unconscious.

"I rolled up onto the bonnet and smashed into the windscreen with my head. Then I rolled off the side of the car.

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"I can't remember much, but I came round about two minutes later. I had a deep cut in the back of my head and cuts and bruises all over my legs as well as bruises on my arms and hips."

The false fingernails she was wearing and a toe nail were also ripped off.

Miss Spooner, of Swallow Drive, Stowmarket, said: "It was pretty painful. I had a really bad headache for about a week and a swollen ankle."

Despite Griffiths saying sorry at his Ipswich Crown Court sentencing, Miss Spooner still finds it hard to forgive the painter and decorater, who was jailed for eight months.

She said: "I think he was foolish for getting in the car. He hurt me because of it and he shouldn't have done it in the first place.

"I'm pretty annoyed with him. During the court case he apologised about 20 times, but it is still not going to make it right because he got into that car and was not in control of it.

"I'm left with scars on my legs and on the back of my head.”

Griffiths, 19, was more than twice the legal limit for drink driving when he got into a friend's car without her permission on New Year's Eve.

Miss Spooner spent New Year's Day in hospital and four weeks after the accident she was still limping and recovering from her injures.

At his sentencing last month the court was told that after the collision Griffiths had “freaked out” and driven off without stopping in the direction of Bury Road, before losing control of his friend's Toyota Corolla and crashing it.

Griffiths, of Stowupland Road, Stowmarket, admitted drink driving, aggravated vehicle taking, failing to stop after an accident and driving without insurance.

He had visited a pub and had drunk four double vodkas with orange and had been given the keys to the Toyota Corolla to look after by a female friend. Later he went to a nightclub where he had drank several single vodkas with orange.

Joanne Eley, mitigating, said: “He accepts he was driving when his judgement was affected by alcohol. He could have caused fatal injuries to her (Miss Spooner) when he was driving in the manner he did.”