Driver Under The Influence Jailed After Woman Sustained Life-Changing Injuries
A mum-of-three is urging drivers to stay safe on the roads after her life was turned “upside down” by a drink driver who has been jailed for three years.
Nicole Musson, 33, from Ferndown in Dorset, was driving home from Dorchester on the A31 on 16 August last year when her VW Jetta was hit head-on just prior to a bend in the road. Her vehicle spun and was then hit by a second car, which was travelling in her direction, as she attempted to remove her seatbelt.
An off-duty GP, who had been travelling in a car in front of Nicole, treated her at the side of the road before she was taken to Southampton General Hospital by ambulance. An air ambulance was also scrambled to the scene to transport the other driver to hospital.
Following the incident, Nicole instructed specialist road accident lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to represent her throughout the case, and on Friday 5 April, the driver of the other vehicle was convicted of dangerous driving after it transpired he had been drunk at the time of the collision.
He was known to have two previous convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol, and he was given a custodial sentence of three years. A seven-year driving ban was also imposed.
As a result of the accident, Nicole sustained fractures to three vertebrae, multiple ribs, her left elbow and right foot. She also suffered from neck injuries, a deep laceration to her leg, cracked teeth and ongoing psychological difficulties.
Expert Opinion“This was a life-changing crash and Nicole has been struggling greatly since the accident. She has three children, with the youngest being nine months, and her mother is also dependent on her.
The serious injuries sustained by Nicole highlight the devastating consequences of drink-driving.
It is notable that there is a small but persistent core of drink driving reoffenders and more needs to be done to cut out this irresponsible behaviour. Safety campaigners have suggested different methods such as the introduction of locking systems in cars which require a clear breath sample to be given before the ignition can be started in a vehicle. These are already being trialled in many European countries, and the European Transport Safety Council has reported that as many as 5000 deaths could be prevented every year if drink drivers in Europe were stopped from starting a vehicle.”
Lauren Haas - Associate Solicitor
Following the sentencing, Nicole said: “The accident has turned my life upside down and the criminal trial has been an incredibly difficult process.
“I feel that justice has been served. I just hope that lessons can be learned from what has happened and that this raises awareness about the devastating consequences of drink–driving on people’s lives.
“Thankfully, in my case, an off duty firefighter was also at the scene and treated me, and then by some miracle a paramedic who had just finished her long shift. They were both amazing and never left my side until I went off in the ambulance. I count my blessings that they were there.”
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