A ‘selfish and irresponsible’ BMW driver was lucky to have escaped with his life after overtaking at a blind spot into the path of an oncoming Aston Martin.
James Reuben managed to avoid a head-on crash, but the damage to the £150,000 supercar he hit on the A422 near Ettington was so extensive that it was expected to be written off.
And Reuben, age 27 of Bryan Mews, Bidford, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 18 months, ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and made subject to a 9pm to 5am electronically-monitored curfew for eight weeks.
Prosecutor Richard Franck said that at shortly after 6pm in November last year Reuben was driving a BMW 330i along the A422 Banbury Road between Stratford and Ettington.
Reuben was tailgating other vehicles and overtaking in dangerous places, and he began an overtaking manoeuvre as he approached double white lines at a point where he could not see if the road ahead was clear.
He was still on the wrong side of the road after the double white lines began, as an Aston Martin Vanquish V12 was approaching from the opposite direction.
Fortunately Reuben managed to swerve to avoid a head-on crash with the supercar which struck the BMW just behind the driver’s door.
The force of the impact was so severe that the Aston Martin lost its front wheel, and was so badly damaged that it was expected to be written off, added Mr Franck.
Nick Devine, defending, conceded: “Both Mr Reuben and the driver of the other vehicle were lucky to come away from this. In the aftermath he was shocked and shaken and remorseful.
Mr Devine said that Reuben works for an events management company, earning £25,000 a year, but is required to have a driving licence and will lose his job as a result of being disqualified.
As Reuben sat crying in the dock, Mr Devine added: “The thought of a custodial sentence terrifies him.”
Sentencing Reuben and banning him from driving for two years, Recorder Charles Foster told him: “You could easily have been facing a much more serious charge.
“You are lucky to be alive, and so is the motorist with whom you collided.
“You immediately, to your credit, acknowledged you were the author of the collision, and apologised.
“You are lucky, not only because you escaped with your life, but because you are not going to prison immediately.”