A 'senseless and irresponsible' driver has been jailed for deliberately blocking an ambulance that was responding to an emergency call.
The 38-year-old pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and obstructing/hindering an emergency worker at Reading Magistrates’ Court on August 10, UK media reported. He was found guilty on November 2 and sentenced to eight months in prison.
Dashcam footage released by the NHS South Central Ambulance Service this week, but recorded in February, shows the ambulance overtake Butler's car — a red Suzuki Vitara — on a major English highway. The Suzuki driver appears to speed up and cut back in front of the ambulance, blocking its path. He appears to do this multiple times before "intentionally" braking, police said. He also appears to weave through traffic, crossing lanes, and blocking the ambulance's access.
Authorities condemn 'unacceptable' driving act
Investigating officer Sergeant Matt Cadmore, of the roads policing unit, said Butler's driving was "completely unacceptable," UK media reported. "In deliberately attempting to hinder the progress of this ambulance, he was putting another road user at great risk, and at the same time, delaying an emergency vehicle en route to a medical emergency," he said.
Mark Ainsworth, director of operations at South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said this was the "worst standard of driving suffered by one of their hard-working ambulance crews". He condemned the "senseless and irresponsible actions undertaken" by Butler which put "himself, other road users and our ambulance crew at risk of serious injury."
"Our ambulance crews are highly trained, able to safely drive at speed when necessary and I’m thankful that the vast majority of other road users are considerate when we need to travel on emergency lights," he said, the Independent reported.
In addition to his jail sentence, Butler was banned from driving for three years and given 200 hours of community service, the ambulance service said.
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