A NEW MILTON drink-driver has been jailed after he admitted causing a crash that saw him hit a woman with a pushchair on a Bournemouth pedestrian crossing.
Dale Clark was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court today (October 23) after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.
He had also previously admitted an offence of drink driving at a hearing at Poole Magistrates’ Court.
Clark received a prison sentence of three years and eight months and was also banned from driving for six years, with the disqualification period due to start on his release from prison.
At around 9am on Tuesday, April 11, a woman aged in her 30s was pushing her 11-month-old daughter in a pushchair and went to cross the road at a pedestrian crossing in Redhill Avenue.
As they were crossing the road 38-year-old Clark approached, driving a Toyota Rav-4 at speed before colliding with the woman on the crossing.
Fortunately, the child was not injured but the woman suffered serious injuries and was taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition.
She was treated for injuries to her head, pelvis, leg and spleen and remains in a serious condition in hospital.
A collision investigation report estimated that Clark was at in excess of 40mph prior to the incident. The speed limit on the road was 30mph.
Clark was witnessed driving off from the scene, but a member of the public was able to memorise the registration number of his vehicle.
He was subsequently contacted by officers and arrested before his vehicle was located in New Milton.
While in custody, Clark provided a breath reading of 46 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35. He also admitted he was looking at his mobile phone.
Detective Constable Michelle Underwood, of Dorset Police’s traffic unit, said: “Dale Clark’s actions on Tuesday, April 11, have left a mother with serious life-changing injuries and it could have been even worse as it is only through pure good fortune that the young child was not harmed in this incident.
“We see all too often the devastating impacts that are caused by motorists driving under the influence of alcohol and at excessive speed. Drivers need to understand that when they are behind the wheel, they are in control of a potentially lethal machine and reckless actions such as this can have truly horrific consequences.
“I would like to thank the members of the public who supported the victim on the day of the collision and provided reassurance, as well as the witness who memorised the registration plate.”