Suspended sentence for “dangerous” BMW driver who crashed into VW
A BMW driver who swerved to pass a van, then crashed into a car carrying a mother and her young boy – and sustained serious injuries – has been called “the author of his own misfortune”.
Fareed Ali, 24, the driver of the white BMW, claimed he tried to safely overtake a van on Lower Road near Church Hanborough on November 13, 2020 but the driver matched his speed and refused to let him overtake or back up behind the truck.
He crashed head-on into Jazzmin Blücher’s VW Tiguan, leaving both of them with serious injuries.
Ms. Blucher gave the jury evidence and erased the defendant’s account, who was later clarified to the jury, that he had attempted to overtake the van for more than a dozen seconds.
“It was ridiculous,” she said of his driving. “I didn’t have a chance to break or dodge. I understand that people overtake each other, but he didn’t do a little control at first. It was direct and went for it.”
Her injuries included a broken collarbone and fractured right femur. Thames Valley Police PC Craig Ridgley said the crash remained “one of the greatest scenes I’ve been in that wasn’t a fatal collision”.
Ali denied causing serious injuries from dangerous driving. Character judges spoke of their shock to hear the coffee shop manager, who hadn’t worked since the crash, had been charged with the misdemeanor. He had not received any endorsements on his driver’s license since he passed his driver’s license test in 2015.
It took the jury two hours to return a unanimous guilty verdict. Recorder John Hardy QC thanked the 12-member panel and said it was a verdict he agreed with.
“He was the author of his own misfortune. He is also the author of Ms. Blucher’s misfortune,” the judge told Ali’s attorney.
But Recorder Hardy spared him an immediate prison sentence, noting the injuries Ali also sustained in the crash.
The judge sentenced him to two years in prison, suspended for two years, saying: “The inescapable fact is that on November 13, 2020, for whatever reason, you were driving dangerously around 9am. I have no doubts about that.
“As a result, you were involved in an accident that nearly killed someone.
“More than someone, some people’s lives. Her son by Mrs. Blücher, Mrs. Blücher herself.
“Parliament is right to demand the highest standards from drivers because cars and motor vehicles in general are the equivalent of guns.
“When abused, they can have disastrous effects on other people and that’s exactly what happened in this case.”
Ali, from Ampney Orchard, Bampton, was banned from driving for two years. He must pass an extended retest.
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