Specialists Call For Improved Safety Measures
A taxi driver has been given a suspended prison sentence after admitting responsibility for a high-speed car crash, which resulted in a young woman receiving serious internal injuries.
Taxi driver Mohammed Saleem, 26, from the Marsh area of Huddersfield, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and two counts of grievous bodily harm arising from the accident.
Mr Saleem was handed a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, in a hearing at Bradford Crown Court yesterday (17 May). He was also ordered to undertake 300 hours of community service, and was disqualified from driving for five years - after which he must undertake an extended test to re-qualify.
Serious injury specialists at law firm Irwin Mitchell are now calling for greater safety measures on notorious accident black spots, as the accident followed a spate of other incidents on the same road just outside Huddersfield.
Victim Jodie Miller, 19, from Walsall, was travelling with her boyfriend in a taxi to Holmfirth from a wedding in Huddersfield when another taxi drove head on into the vehicle at high speed on Meltham Road last July.
Mr Saleem had been in the process of performing an overtaking manoeuvre which involved him driving on the opposite side of the carriageway, directly into the path of the vehicle carrying Jodie and the driver of her taxi, Ghulam Abbas Khan.
As a result of the collision, Miss Miller suffered a serious wedge fracture to her spine that required surgery to insert metal rods and plates to stabilise her. She also suffered a series of severe internal injuries, including a punctured stomach, broken ribs, a punctured lung, a torn spleen, and damage to her duodenum.
Jodie underwent numerous emergency surgeries in relation to her injuries, and was eventually discharged several weeks later to the care of her parents.
Jodie’s boyfriend was also hurt in the crash, and their driver Mr Khan received serious injuries.
Saleem, whose Vauxhall Vectra taxi was not carrying any passengers, was also accused of causing grievous bodily harm to the other taxi driver.
Phillip Edwards, a serious injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Miss Miller suffered horrendous injuries as a result of the crash that was through no fault of her own, and no matter what the outcome of this trial, that could never be reversed. We are now working with Miss Miller to help re-build her life following the serious injuries she has suffered.
“However, the fact that Mr Saleem has been convicted of grievous bodily harm and dangerous driving will at least provide some justice for Jodie and her family.
“The GBH charge was brought to Mr Saleem due to the extremely reckless nature of his nature of his driving, which meant it was ever more likely that someone would be seriously injured.
“We just hope that this case will bring to attention the potential dangers of roads such as this one in Huddersfield, as all too often we see repeated accidents on certain roads without anything being done to subdue the dangers.”
Jodie Miller, now studying for a four-year physics master’s degree at Birmingham University, stated: “My family and I are extremely relieved at the sentencing today.
“The entire incident was extremely traumatic for me and my boyfriend, and I will have to walk round with bits of metal supporting my back for the rest of my life.
“Mr Saleem showed a complete disregard for anyone else on the road, so we are relieved that justice has been done today. Hopefully now I can begin to move on with my life the best I can.”