A drink-driver has been jailed after admitting being behind the wheel of a car that collided with and seriously injured a married couple stood on the pavement in Weston-super-Mare.
Tyron Griffiths, 32, was driving a Vauxhall Corsa over the Hildesheim Bridge at approximately 2.20am on Friday 13 December 2019 when he lost control and struck the couple.
The pair had been dropped off in the town centre following a coach trip with their son, who witnessed what happened. They were taken to hospital with serious and potentially life-threatening head injuries.
The husband, now 70, sustained injuries including broken bones in his right leg that required corrective surgery and still has restricted movement. His wife, now 67, suffered injuries including fractures to her elbow, knee and ribs and continues to require medical care.
Griffiths, of Talbot Close in Highbridge, failed to stop at the scene and was found asleep in the back of the car by a passer-by in Stoddens Lane, Burnham-on-Sea later that morning. The Corsa had sustained damage to the windscreen following the collision and the passer-by reported it to the police, suspecting the vehicle had been involved in a crash.
Officers attended and arrested Griffiths who initially refused to engage during police interview, before later telling officers he had been drinking alcohol that night. He was found to be two-and-a-half times over the limit.
Collision investigators examined the scene and the car and were able to show the damage was consistent with the injuries the married couple suffered.
Griffiths pleaded guilty to two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Friday 9 April to two years in prison. He was also handed a five-year driving ban.
Addressing Griffiths, HH Judge Michael Longman said: “You mowed down two innocent pedestrians while more than twice the legal limit; you failed to stop. Your behaviour was dangerous, you created that danger by drinking and driving.”
Investigating officer Dai Nicholas said: “Tyron Griffiths’ blameless victims sustained terrible injuries because of his selfish decision to drive after drinking alcohol. They have shown incredible fortitude in their recovery from this shocking collision and we’re grateful for their continued support during our investigation and this court process.
“Without wishing to downplay the seriousness of the injuries they sustained, people should be under no illusion that it’s only through sheer luck and the work of medics that Griffiths did not kill someone.
“For a long time he refused to accept responsibility for his dangerous actions until being faced with overwhelming evidence collated by police. He drove off from the scene without checking on the two people he’d seriously hurt and initially refused to answer officers’ questions.
“We welcome the custodial sentence handed out to him today and hope it acts as a warning to others. Drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a car is reckless and significantly increases the likelihood of a collision. It puts you, as a driver, at risk of harm but also innocent bystanders too.”