Drink-driver, 76, ran over 10-year-old cyclist repeatedly and then ignored cries that he was trapped underneath the vehicle

The boy suffered a number of serious injuries including a fractured pelvis and vertebrae

Keith Vernon was over twice the legal drink limit (SWNS)

A drink-driver ran over a 10-year-old cyclist trapping him underneath the car before reversing over him and driving off with the bike still wedged beneath the wheels.

The boy was left with a broken collar bone, a fractured vertebrae, a fractured pelvis, a dislocated hip and a burn covering the left side of his face.

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Keith Vernon, 76, was over twice the legal limit when he rammed his car into the boy who was cycling with his dad.

The young cyclist, from Pulborough, a village in Horsham, west Sussex, had been cycling in West Chittingham with his father and another adult when he was struck from behind by the black Renault Twingo.

The impact caused him to flip over his handlebars and onto the road, where the car continued to drive over him.

His dad desperately tried to warn the driver the boy was trapped beneath his car but he ignored them.

He then reversed over the boy. The lad's helmet was destroyed, found bloodied and broken but police say it saved the boy from a very serious head injury.

Emergency services responded to the incident, which occurred about 10.20pm on October 6 last year.

Police say the young boy is now recovering.

Jailed for two-and-a-half years

Officers tracked the vehicle and found the mangled bike still underneath the car, which was parked over a kerb.

Vernon was breathalysed and found to have 77 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, the legal limit being 35 micrograms.

He pleaded guilty to the offences at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on 23 February and was released on conditional bail ahead of sentencing at Hove Crown Court.

He was jailed for two-and-a-half years and disqualified from driving for four-and-a-half years.

Judge Shani Barnes, Recorder of Brighton and Hove, said she did not accept that Vernon had not seen the child, he had made a conscious decision to drive when drunk, and that he had a "desire to protect himself before anyone else".

Senior Investigating officer, Sergeant Richard Hornsey, formerly of the Serious Collision Investigations Unit, said: “Vernon was driving home after drinking in a local pub and was over the drink-drive limit when he collided with the cyclist.

"This was clearly a traumatic incident for those directly involved, but it has also affected the wider community.

“Vernon ignored the pleas of the bystanders, which included the child’s father, and they described the wheels of the car spinning as Vernon tried to drive away while the child and the bicycle were trapped underneath.

“The child was wearing a cycle helmet which received significant damage but protected him from a more serious head injury.

“Vernon drove for over a quarter of a mile through the village with the bicycle trapped under his car, but at no point did he stop to check if the cyclist was still underneath, which shows a complete disregard for the safety of other road users."