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Teen driver crashed after wrongly thinking police were chasing him

NewsTeen driver crashed after wrongly thinking police were chasing him

A teenage driver careered across a central reservation when trying to give police the slip, North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard.

19-year-old Max Edwards was in stationary traffic in Newcastle when he heard police sirens and saw flashing lights. He wrongly believed they were after him, pulled out of the traffic into a bus lane and cut across vehicles to turn left on to the A34 London Road. However, he hit the central reservation and a bollard and careered across the opposite carriageway causing other vehicles to take evasive action.

Now, Edwards has been handed a 12-month community order, reports Stoke-on-Trent Live, and banned from the roads for 15 months.

Prosecutor Rebecca Pearson said police were on patrol in an unmarked vehicle just before midnight on December 24, 2021 when they were called to an unrelated incident on the A34 in Newcastle. They travelled along Barracks Road with their lights and sirens activated. They tried to go around traffic and use the bus lane when Edwards, driving a black Seat car, pulled out of stationary traffic into the bus lane.

Miss Pearson said: “It drove through red lights and accelerated towards the A34. The Seat was in the outside lane and the police were 15 metres behind it. It tried to turn left down London Road towards Trent Vale. It found itself on the A34 and accelerated away at speed weaving between vehicles.

“It hit the central reservation and bollard. It careered towards oncoming traffic and mounted the kerb, forcing other motorists to take evasive action to prevent a collision.”

Edwards, of Barks Drive, Norton, was arrested in a nearby alleyway and later pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

Andrew Turnock, mitigating, conceded the driving was poor but said it was short-lived. Mr Turnock said: “The distance travelled can’t be any more than a mile or so. It was a very short distance travelled.

“He was 18 at the time. Fifteen months have passed and there have been no further incidents involving this young man. He is still very young. When he saw the police behind him he panicked. He wrongly thought they were after him and he did what he did.”

Mr Turnock added that Edwards has been in work for three weeks. As part of the community order Edwards must complete 160 hours unpaid work and a rehabilitation activity requirement for 25 days. He was ordered to pay £185 costs and a £95 surcharge.

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