Jail for driver who paralysed his passenger while showing off

Video footage taken from Johnson’s phone from the collision:

A man who caused the passenger in his car to be paralysed while ‘showing off’ has been jailed.

Tom Johnson, 21, of Lophams Close, Haverhill was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment at Cambridge Crown Court on March 10 after pleading guilty to causing injury by dangerous driving.

After leaving a pub in Upware on April 23 last year, Johnson decided to take his 27-year-old passenger along Great Drove, a known bumpy road, on the way back to Haverhill.

The court heard how Johnson decided to record the journey in an attempt to ‘show off’ and share it with his friends.

However, Johnson hit a bump and lost control of his white Toyota Yaris before crashing into a tree at about 61mph. After the crash Johnson used his phone to take selfies of himself and his passenger, who was trapped and covered in blood.

His passenger sustained life changing injuries and is now paralysed from the chest down. He requires round the clock care.

Johnson chose to take that road for the excitement and thrill and in an attempt to show off to his friends.

The speeds set on any road are an absolute maximum and as a driver the onus is on you to drive at a speed which is safe for the road and the conditions.

Johnson’s passenger now lives with first-hand proof of how a vehicle can turn into a lethal weapon when in in the wrong hands.

– PC Leigh Fenton

Johnson was also disqualified from driving for three years and will undergo an extended re-test.