Cumbria

Blyth van driver jailed for Aspatria head-on bike crash

Carlisle Crown Court Image copyright Google
Image caption Thomas Oliver was jailed for 16 months at Carlisle Crown Court

A van driver has been jailed for causing a crash which led to a motorcyclist losing an arm.

Thomas Oliver, 23, was overtaking a lorry when he crashed head on into Robert Hope near Aspatria in Cumbria on 4 May 2018.

The crash had a "massive impact" on Mr Hope but he bears "no ill will" towards Oliver, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

Oliver, from Blyth, was jailed for 16 months after admitting causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The court heard Oliver had been seen carrying out a number of risky overtakes moments before the crash with one motorist saying: "He's taking his chances."

'Thought I was dying'

Mr Hope's left arm had to be amputated and he also suffered serious leg injuries and a shattered hip.

In court, Mr Hope said the crash cost him his job as a mechanical engineer and had a "massive impact on my life".

"At one point I thought I was dying on the roadside," he said.

Mr Hope, now a charity worker for the Great North Air Ambulance Service, said he can no longer enjoy hobbies such as motorcycling, running or fell walking.

He said: "I suffer with severe pain every day and will likely continue to do so for the rest of my life.

"I bear no ill will towards Mr Oliver but I do want him to fully understand the consequences of his actions that day."

Oliver, of South Newsham Road, was said to have been distressed at the scene immediately after the crash.

He said: "There is nothing I can say or do to show how deeply sorry I am for what has happened and the injuries that Mr Hope sustained due to my poor behaviour and poor judgement."

Oliver was also banned from driving for two years and must pass an extended test.

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