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Man jailed for causing crash which left woman in wheelchair

The crash site near Uckfield Credit: Sussex Police

A motorist who caused a serious crash near Uckfield, leaving an elderly woman with life-threatening injuries, has been jailed.

Peter Jason Harris was sentenced to three years' imprisonment following the three-vehicle collision on the A26 at Heron's Ghyll.

He had been travelling northbound at about 3.35pm on 25 June 2015 when witnesses described seeing his silver Volkswagen Golf cross the solid double white lines in the centre of the road – which is prohibited under the Highway Code.

While on the wrong side of the road, he struck a red Nissan Note travelling in the opposite direction.

The driver – 70-year-old Margaret Pattenden, from Rotherfield – attempted to avoid a head-on collision by mounting the nearside embankment, however the impact forced the rear of her vehicle to hit a row of trees lining the road.

The collision then caused a black Vauxhall Corsa, also travelling southbound, to hit the side of the Nissan. All three cars were written off.

Mrs Pattenden was taken hospital with serious spinal injuries which required an operation. She now has life-changing injuries and requires a wheelchair.

The driver of the Vauxhall – a 67-year-old man from Uckfield – was taken to Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath with minor injuries.

Meanwhile Harris was taken to Pembury Hospital with minor injuries.

The 33-year-old, of Scotts Way in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, was later voluntarily interviewed and summonsed to court in connection with the incident.

Following a trial at Lewes Crown Court, Harris pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was sentenced to three years in jail and will be disqualified from driving for three years on release from prison.

Peter Harris drove his vehicle that day in a dangerous manner, he lost control, crossed onto the opposing carriageway and collided with two other vehicles.

His actions, and the victim's injuries, were entirely avoidable. Harris was sentenced to three years imprisonment, however the victim will need life-long care and assistance.

– PC Richard Hobbs, Sussex Police