Crash victim ‘surprised’ no-one was killed in head-on BMW smash
- Credit: Matthew Usher
A driver who caused a head-on crash which left a woman in a coma for two days has been banned from the road for six months.
Troy Butler-Hopkins, of Masons Drive, Great Blakenham, admitted careless driving at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
The crash happened on the A140 at Little Stonham just before 1.15pm on November 2 last year, when the 26-year-old’s BMW M3 collided with a Ford Fiesta and another vehicle.
The female driver of the Fiesta was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where she was operated on for nine hours and put in a coma for two days with injuries including a shattered ankle, broken tibia, arm and ribs, lacerated spleen, severed lower intestine and detached back muscle.
Her female passenger was taken by ambulance to Ipswich Hospital with a shattered left foot, open forearm fracture, broken wrist and broken ribs.
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In a victim impact statement read to the court by prosecutor David Bryant, she said: “Due to someone else’s actions, both our lives have been turned upside down. I’m still surprised neither of us were killed.”
Mr Bryant said witnesses saw the BMW lose control as it quickly accelerated from a 30mph to 50pmh stretch of road, mount a pavement and ‘zig-zag’ into oncoming traffic.
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Butler-Hopkins, who escaped uninjured, said he was still haunted by “fear and dread” from the day of the crash, which had begun with him attending a firefighter recruitment event.
In a letter read to magistrates, he added: “I offer my sincere apologies for what has happened and wish I could reverse time.
“I attended a firefighter recruitment day with hopes and dreams of being an important part of the community and saving lives, but it’s fair to say those dreams are over.”
The court heard Butler-Hopkins was a man of previously good character and a foster carer for his orphaned younger brothers.
His letter said: “No punishment will amount to the sleepless nights and mental torture this incident has inflicted on me.
“I sincerely wish a full recovery to those involved, and apologise for the distress it has caused them and their families. I wish it had been me, and not them.”
Butler-Hopkins was banned from driving for six months and fined £400.