Driver who caused head-on collision after “very dangerous” overtaking manoeuvre on A45 in Northants jailed

Crown Court GV
Crown Court GV

A driver who caused a head-on crash on the A45 in Northamptonshire after he carried out a “very dangerous” overtaking manoeuvre has been sentenced to 15 months in jail.

Se Cotter, aged 25, was over the alcohol limit for driving when he attempted to overtake a car and lorry he was travelling behind near Raunds.

Northampton Crown Court heard Cotter completed the overtake of the car, which was being driven by an off-duty Special Constable, but clipped the front of the lorry as he pulled in sharply to avoid a collision with an oncoming car.

Caroline Bray, prosecuting, said the collision caused Cotter’s Rover car to go into a spin and the vehicle then collided with an Audi travelling in the opposite direction containing a married couple.

The court heard Cotter’s car flipped over three times and ended up on its roof 100 metres away from the crash site.

Fortunately, the couple in the Audi did not suffer any serious injuries although a woman was taken to hospital to have treatment for bruising to her chest.

Mrs Bray said Cotter, who suffered a bruised leg and hip, initially stayed at the scene but then told the off-duty Special Constable that he needed to urinate.

Mrs Bray said: “The defendant then ran away into some foliage and a nearby field. He was later located by a dog team and arrested.”

A blood alcohol reading revealed Cotter had 96 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 microgrammes.

The court heard Cotter had a previous conviction for driving while over the alcohol limit in 2012.

Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking, sentencing, said Cotter had carried out a “very dangerous overtaking manoeuvre.”

She said: “This was a very substantial error of judgement that generated a serious risk of a collision.”

Cotter, of Kettering Road, Burton Latimer, was sentenced to 15 months in jail. He is likely to serve half his sentence in custody before being released on licence.

He will be banned from driving for four years once he comes out of prison.