A drunk driver who was caught crashing into a lorry at 84mph with his three year old son in the car has been jailed.
Declan Webster, 32, raced brothers Robert and Michael Bower through the streets of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, with both his partner and toddler in the car.
Horrifying footage captured the moment his Toyota Corolla hurtled down a road at 84ph before he smashed into the side of a HGV at a roundabout.
Incredibly, nobody was injured in the crash, which happened at around 9.30pm on 8 August last year.
All of the drivers fled the scene but were later arrested and charged with dangerous driving, which they pleaded guilty to at Derby Crown Court.
The trio had been drinking together in a beer garden for several hours before driving off and racing around the streets, the court heard.
Jailed for 16 months
Mr Webster was jailed for 16 months on Wednesday (February) and was banned from the roads for three years.
Robert Bower, 33, was sentenced to 14 months and Michael Bower, 28, was handed a 12 month prison sentence.
Both Bower brothers were also disqualified from driving for six months.
Sentencing, Judge Robert Egbuna, said Webster’s Corolla came “from nowhere” and “disintegrated virtually” as it smashed into the side of the lorry.
He said: “In that vehicle was your three-year-old child with his mother – how they managed to survive is a miracle. Road users were lucky to survive
“What you do afterwards with assistance of the Bowers is to leave the scene.
"The purpose of leaving the scene it is quite clear is you do not want to be apprehended because your level of alcohol would be available to the court."
To the brothers, he added: “I cannot think of a worse piece of dangerous driving. It is sheer luck that no-one died.
"It really is captured when you in your interview said you thought a death would arise out of the driving.
"That reflects Mr Webster’s account – he feels fortunate to have his family and son alive.
"On that day at the Red Lion pub CCTV shows that a significant amount of alcohol was consumed – you left that pub and all three of you were racing.
"You were in powerful vehicles – Michael Bower you overtook your brother on a single carriageway.”
Six hours of drinking before driving
Prosecutor Katrina Wilson said the trio had been at the Red Lion Pub in Brimington, Derbyshire for six hours and CCTV footage captured the “state of inebriation” they were in minutes before the crash.
Mr Webster had consumed seven pints, Robert Bower six, and Michael Bower four-and-a-half.
Footage showed Mr Webster’s Toyota Corolla and Robert Bower’s white Range Rover collide as the pair tried to reverse in the pub car park.
The trio then raced in convoy along Brimington Road North, which has a 30mph speed limit, with Mr Webster clocking an average speed of 81mph.
His Corolla crashed into the lorry at the roundabout and “miraculously” left his partner and three year old son, who were in the car with him, unscathed.
Michael Bower was captured careering his Jaguar XE onto the opposite carriageway at the moment of impact to avoid the collision, while Robert Bower’s Range Rover was seen rolling towards the roundabout when he climbed out to help Mr Webster – having forgotten to apply his handbrake.
As Mr Webster climbs out of his car with his son and partner he is shown fleeing the scene in one of the Bower brothers’ cars.
The court heard that Mr Webster’s son was seen “bleeding from his nose and mouth” by one of the Bower brothers moments after the crash.
The unhurt HGV driver can be seen on the camera “in dismay” to find all three gone. However they were eventually tracked down by the police after viewing CCTV from the pub.
Representing himself, Mr Webster, who appeared via video link from HMP Leicester, told the judge: “That was a very shocking and eye-opening night for me two years ago.
"I’m very grateful that my family came out alive – I’ve lost my partner but I’ve still got access to my son.
"I’m just grateful that I didn’t kill my family or anyone else – it was foolish, reckless and dangerous.”
PC Stu Smith, from Derbyshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said after the case: “It is pure luck that no-one was seriously hurt, or killed, in this incident.
“All three men behaved extremely recklessly, putting their own lives and the lives of others at risk.
“Declan Webster’s apparent disregard for the safety of his young son and partner, who were passengers in his car, is particularly shocking.
“Today’s sentencing shows that dangerous driving will not be tolerated on Derbyshire’s roads.
“I hope that Webster, Bower and Bower will realise the true gravity of what they have done and will feel grateful that their arrogant and irresponsible behaviour didn’t cost anyone their life.”
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