Driver jailed after A5 crash leaves mother and four children injured
A disqualified driver who crashed into a car in Cannock leaving a woman and her four young children injured, has been jailed.
Josiah Johnson, 21, had failed to stop for police in a stolen Ford Fiesta in October 2018 and sped off when he crashed head on with another vehicle while driving on the opposite side of a dual carriageway.
At Stafford Crown Court today Johnson was sent to prison for three years eight months after being convicted of dangerous driving.
Johnson was arrested following the crash on the A5 in Cannock on October 18.
Police had spotted Johnson driving the stolen vehicle in Walsall Road, Great Wryley and followed him. The Fiesta drove through a police stinger patrol, but despite this, Johnson continued to drive towards Cannock at speed, failing to stop for officers who had put their blue lights and sirens on.
Police called off the pursuit for safety reasons, but Johnson continued to drive before colliding head on with a Renault Scenic car on the A5.
The car was driven by 32-year-old Kerry Plant, with her children, three boys then aged one, two and 11 and a daughter, then aged 10.
The children were taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries. Their mother had to be cut from the car and suffered multiple fractures to her wrist and arm, which needed surgery following the collision.
Johnson, of Copthall Road, Handsworth, was arrested at the scene and was found to have a three inch bladed knife and a small amount of cannabis on him. The Fiesta he was driving was a stolen vehicle, which had been taken from Birmingham earlier that month.
He had earlier admitted dangerous driving, together with driving without insurance, disqualified driving, possession of Class B drugs and handling stolen goods. Today he also admitted possessing a knife on the day of the collision.
He was sentenced to 32 months in prison for dangerous driving, six months for handling stolen goods, six months for possession of a bladed article and disqualified from driving for a further five years.
Kerry has spoken out about how she was left with severe life-changing injuries to her hand and wrist, which has left her dream of working as a nurse in tatters.
She said: “The day of the collision was just a normal day. I was with all four kids and we were driving home from a doctor’s appointment and laughing and joking, when I suddenly saw a car coming towards me on my side of the road. The driver just carried on and crashed into me - I just remember the terrible noise and I heard screaming and realised it was me.
“I tried to check on the children, but I was trapped and the door wouldn’t open and the car was filing with smoke. When I tried to move I realised my hand was actually hanging off and I couldn’t use it.
“I told the older children to get out, I could feel blood on my face and my mouth and hair were full of glass. People came to help and the emergency services got the children out but I was trapped until they could free me. As I sat there I caught sight of the driver, who was just sat on the side of the road like he didn’t have a care in the world.”
Kerry was taken to hospital where she underwent surgery on her hand and stayed in for a week, she was also treated for bruising and cuts. She had suffered multiple fractures to her hand and wrist and had to have a metal plate inserted which only gives her limited movement.
“Due to my injuries I can’t even do the simplest things, I can’t drive a normal car or lift and carry things. I was training to be a nurse but I won’t be able to do that now as I can’t give CPR," she added.
“I got married five days before the collision and that day turned my world around. I have constant flashbacks in my head and of not being able to get to my children. My daughter told me that I shouted I love you to them all as he crashed into us.
“I don’t feel anything towards the driver, but this shows how one act of stupidity can ruin someone else’s life.”
Detective Constable Andy Bromley from Staffordshire Police, said: “Josiah Johnson showed no consideration in his manner of driving and the speeds he was travelling for any other road users or members of the public.
"The victims in this case were very fortunate to walk away with their lives as it by pure luck that no other road users were involved or seriously injured.”
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