Crash victim will have leg amputated because of woman’s dangerous driving

MHLC Jiao Liu NNL-161108-142735001
MHLC Jiao Liu NNL-161108-142735001

A van driver is to have his leg amputated because he can no longer stand to pain he suffers after it was shattered when he and his passenger were involved in a head-on crash.

And at Warwick Crown Court the mother-of-three who caused the devastating crash by dangerously overtaking an articulated lorry on a blind bend near Wellesbourne has been jailed.

Jiao Liu pleaded guilty to causing serious injury to van driver Danny Edmonds and his passenger Mohammed Anwar by dangerous driving on the A429 between Ettington and Wellesbourne.

Liu, 39, of Moat Avenue, Coventry, who had two of her young children in the back of her car, was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for two-and-a-half years.

Prosecutor Amy Jackson said that at about 8.20pm on August 11, 2014, Mr Edmonds was driving his Renault Kangoo van on the A429 on his way to collect some money he was owed for a job.

Liu was driving in the opposite direction with two of her children in the back of her Citroen Picasso when she came up behind an HGV – which she began to overtake on the approach to a long, sweeping curve.

The HGV driver indicated right to deter her, and the drivers behind her, realising the risk, did not close the gap to allow her to pull back in, but she continued to try to overtake.

“But she didn’t pass quickly; and that’s the key to what happened,” said Miss Jackson, and remained alongside the artic.

“Danny Edmonds came round the bend on the correct side of the road, and found the defendant’s vehicle directly in his path, and he was unable to avoid a collision.

“He recalls waking and seeing his passenger had a bloody face, and dragging himself out of the van and wanting to go to sleep but being told not to by other people.”

His passenger Mr Anwar recalled the collision and then coming round sitting on the bonnet, having been thrown through the windscreen by the force of the impact.

The two men were rushed to hospital, and it was found Mr Edmonds had significant ‘limb-threatening’ injuries to his leg.

Recently-married, Mr Edmonds was in hospital for six weeks and then had to have full bed-rest at home; and at first there was a positive outlook, with some evidence of healing, ‘but sadly, the position has deteriorated,’ said Miss Jackson.

He had been a sporty person, playing football and quad-biking, which he can no longer do, and he and his wife had to cancel a trip to Portugal to celebrate their first anniversary.

Devastatingly, he has been given the option of having his leg fused, so he would be unable to bend it and would be left in constant pain, or to have an amputation above the knee.

“He has chosen the latter route because of his constant pain, and will face months, if not years, of rehabilitation.”

Mr Anwar suffered deep cuts to his head and face, which has left him with permanent scarring, and he also suffers constant back pain and gets flash-backs to the crash.

When she was interviewed Liu said it had been safe to overtake, but it ‘seemed to take forever,’ and when she saw the van, she braked, but nothing happened – but Miss Jackson pointed out an examination showed nothing wrong with the Citroen’s brakes.

Tim Pole, defending, said: “It’s tragic this has happened, but it appears to be a cruel twist of fate in the treatment and rehabilitation of Mr Edmonds.”

But Judge Stephen Eyre QC commented: “Brought about by your client’s actions.”

Mr Pole, who said it had not been a deliberate prolonged course of dangerous driving, said Liu lives with her two youngest children, aged nine and six, while her husband has a property in Sutton Coldfield, where their oldest child attends school.

“I concede this does cross the custody threshold. The question is whether I can persuade Your Honour to suspend it.

“It’s highly likely, if she was to lose her liberty, that her husband would not be able to continue his employment because of having to look after the children, and they may lose their family home,” he added.

But jailing Liu, Judge Eyre told her: “This is a sad case. You are a married lady and the mother of three children, and you and in work and have led a respectable life.

“But on that day you caused serious injuries to two young men by your dangerous driving.

“In your basis of plea it is described as an honest mistake, but there is no alternative to the view that this was a thoughtless act involving a lack of consideration for other road-users, putting your own convenience before the safety of others.

“Your selfish lack of consideration for the risk to others has had serious consequences.

“Danny Edmonds was 27 at the time, married with a young child, and everything going for him. His life and that of his family have been seriously affected by your actions.

“I have taken into account your circumstances and the impact any sentence will have on your family, and I’ve considered whether I can suspend the sentence.

But given that this action has blighted the lives of those young men, I cannot.”