Dozing driver escaped dramatic crash

A DRIVER who fell asleep at the wheel before hitting a roundabout - forcing his car to flip over in mid air - has been banned from the road.

A DRIVER who fell asleep at the wheel before hitting a roundabout - forcing his car to flip over in mid air - has been banned from the road.

Jamie Thomas was approaching the Copdock roundabout near Ipswich on his way to Colchester when he dozed off.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that his Ford Mondeo hit the roundabout's concrete kerb and the car launched into the air, skidded across the roundabout and landed on its roof.

Luckily, no other vehicles or people were involved in the accident and Thomas was uninjured.


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Godfried Duah, prosecuting, said 30-year-old Thomas, who has a history of driving offences, had earlier been arrested on suspicion of drink driving at 3.52am on December 13 last year.

Thomas, of New Town, Colchester was breathalysed and found to be under the legal alcohol limit but he was then detained at the station while police made further enquiries.

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Mr Duah said Thomas was released from the police station at 6.10am and handed his keys so he could drive home.

He said Thomas was driving on the A1214 towards Colchester when he fell asleep and lost control of his car. It was travelling at between 45 and 54mph in the 40mph limit he added.

Thomas initially denied dangerous driving but pleaded guilty to the offence moments before his trial was due to begin.

James Onalaja, mitigating, said: “He accepts he was deprived of sleep. The incident happened not long after he was released from the police. You would have expected the police to have ensured he was fit to drive before giving him the car keys. This incident was not due to any use of drugs or alcohol on his part and there was no prolonged dangerous driving.”

Judge John Devaux disqualified Thomas from driving for 18 months, told him to take an extended driving test and sentenced him to 21 weeks in prison but the term was suspended for 18 months.

Thomas was also placed on 12 months probation supervision and a 12 month drug rehabilitation programme due to his history of drug problems.

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