Man sentenced after five people injured in crash

Exeter Crown Court
Norman Chai, 66, from Woking in Surrey appeared at Exeter Crown Court on Wednesday [BBC]

A man who was driving from Surrey to Cornwall has admitted four charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

At Exeter Crown Court, Norman Chai, 66, from Woking in Surrey, was sentenced to two years in custody, suspended for two years, and to be tagged for three months, plus ordered to pay a £2,000 fine by Recorder James Bromige.

The court heard Chai caused a three-vehicle collision on the A30 near Rawridge after he lost control of his vehicle on 26 November 2022, seriously injuring himself and four other people involved.

Chai was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to take an extended driving test.

Despite wet driving conditions, Chai went to overtake a lorry by moving into a dedicated turning lane for opposing traffic.

Chai then pulled his vehicle back into his own lane before a central island, but, in doing so lost control of his vehicle and "fishtailed" across into the path of oncoming traffic before striking the front of an oncoming Mitsubishi.

As a result of the collision, Chai, his wife and mother-in-law, who were passengers in the car, all suffered multiple lacerations and fractures.

The driver of the Mitsubishi also sustained fractures, as did the passenger of the Kia Rio following the Mitsubishi.

Chai, seriously injured himself and admitted injuring the other four people involved in the crash.

'Catastrophic consequences'

Sgt Troy Bennett, of the serious collision investigations team at Devon and Cornwall Police, said after sentencing that Chai’s actions "had catastrophic consequences".

He said: "His illegal overtake contravened double solid white lines. He travelled through the filter lane for oncoming traffic and almost collided into a central traffic island before he lost control.

"This was done during heavy rain, with wet roads, and was a highly dangerous and egregious manoeuvre resulting in serious injuries to five people, including Chai himself, occupants of his own car, and those in the oncoming vehicles he struck."

He added: "Devon and Cornwall Police are committed to reducing fatal and serious injury collisions on our roads and all drivers have a responsibility to drive carefully and appropriately."

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