Terrifying moment speeding driver ran red light and hit family car

A speeding driver who ran a red light at a junction crashed into a car containing a mum and her young son before slamming into a wall, a court has heard. Phillip David ran away from the wreckage without stopping to see if his victims were injured but police identified him as the driver from DNA found on the vehicle’s air bag. Swansea Crown Court heard only it was “miraculous” that neither the mother nor her four-year-old son were badly injured in the crash, though the boy was left suffering with night terrors and would wake up screaming.

A judge said it was clear from the the facts of the case and David’s history of motoring offences that the Calsonic car parts factory worker has “scant regard for the rules of the road and the safety of others”. Video: A driver whose life had “spiralled out of control” led police on a high-speed chase which ended with him crashing into a telegraph pole Craig Jones, prosecuting, said the crash took place on the evening of February 13 last year in Loughor.

He said shortly before the incident David was caught on the dashcam of a recovery truck speeding through roadworks on Alexandra Road in a Ford Focus car. Moments later David overtook a number of vehicles which were stationary at a red traffic light at the crossroads of Alexandra Road and Frampton Road and raced across the junction and straight into a Renault Clio which had a mum and her four-year-old son onboard. David’s car clipped the front of the Clio and then he lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a garden wall.

The defendant and his male passenger ran from the scene, not stopping to check on the condition of the people in the Clio. The court heard the Focus belonged to David’s partner – who had given him permission to use it – and he was quickly tracked down and arrested. The 32-year-old gave a “no comment” interview but DNA recovered from the Ford’s deployed driver’s airbag linked him to the crash.

Mr Jones said the mum and child from the Clio went to Morriston Hospital the day after the crash – the mum was experiencing pain in her back and neck but her son was uninjured. He said given how close the crash had been to a full side-on impact at speed, “mercifully, perhaps even miraculously” nobody was seriously injured. The court heard that following the crash the four-year-old boy suffered night terrors, and would wake up screaming.

The Clio which David hit was written off, while the wall he demolished had to be rebuilt at a cost of more than GBP2,300.

Phillip Lee David, of Myrtle Hill, Pwll, Llanelli, had previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. He has five previous convictions for nine offences, including possession of a bladed article, driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop after an accident, and failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis. Ian Ibrahim, for David, said the defendant was sorry for what he had done, and had asked him to apologise to the court and to the people in the Clio.

He said his client was bricklayer by trade but following a car crash in 2020 in which he damaged his hands he had been unable to work, and his life had “spiralled into depression and anxiety”. But the barrister said David had now “got his head together”, was off medication and was no longer drinking alcohol, had enrolled in college in Ammanford, and had found work at the Calsonic car parts factory in Llanelli. Mr Ibrahim also pointed to the delay in the case being charged and brought to court – noting police had had the DNA test results in August last year – and to the defendant’s caring responsibilities for his partner and young sons.

Recorder Aidan Eardley said David had been driving on the wrong side of the road, driving at speed, and had gone through a red light, and though it was a brief incident his driving had created a substantial risk to others. He said the facts of the case together with the defendant’s previous driving offences “paint a picture of somebody who has scant regard for the rules of the road and the safety of others”. The recorder said it was a “finely balanced decision” as to whether the custodial sentence that was due was one that could be suspended or was one which had to be served immediately, but that he was satisfied there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation and he was persuaded by David’s role as a carer that it was appropriate to suspend the term.

With a one-third discount for his guilty plea David was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work.

He was banned from driving for 30 months, and must pass an extended test before he can get his licence back.

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