A MAN who says he is lucky to be alive after being hit in a head-on collision hopes the other driver has ‘learnt his lesson’.
Philip Hatfield, 66, was seriously injured after he was ploughed into by an oncoming driver attempting to overtake four cars.
Twenty-nine-year-old Aaron Hird is facing jail after he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
The collision occurred on the A595 near Duddon Bridge in July 2019.
Following the incident Mr Hatfield, who then lived in Barrow, was left in hospital for three days and had his car written off.
He was driving in the vehicle with his wife Anna for an ‘afternoon pleasure trip’.
Looking back on the collision, the retired photographer, now of Oban in Scotland, said: “Whoever invented airbags I can’t thank them enough.
“We couldn’t have come any closer to death than that.
“I sometimes wonder why people take such crazy chances.
“People don’t realise how precious life is in their cars and it only takes a split second and people are dead.
“It’s just mad.
“I don’t bear any him any ill will. I just hope he’s learnt a lesson that will last him his driving life, that a bit of patience will save a life.”
Prosecutor Rachel Dixon told the court it happened around 1.15pm on July 28.
“The defendant has attempted to overtake four cars when it was clearly dangerous to do so,” she said.
“The defendant has collided head-on with the victim Philip Hatfield’s vehicle.
“The defendant was interviewed and he did make full admissions. He said he tried overtaking the vehicles and Mr Hatfield’s vehicle had appeared behind the bend.
“He says he tried to brake but had no time to react.”
The court heard Mr Hatfield’s injuries included five broken ribs, a fractured sternum, a sprained wrist and bruising to his chest.
In mitigation, Hird’s solicitor Andy Gallagher said: “This defendant was carrying out an overtaking manoeuvre on a relatively long and straight stretch of road.
“However he accepts he didn’t take proper account of vehicles coming in the opposite direction.
“He hadn’t finished his manoeuvre by the time he had come onto the blind bend.
“As a result the head-on collision occurred.
“He does apologise for his actions and he accepts he was totally at fault and that his driving fell below the standard of a reasonable and competent driver.”
Hird, of Westgate Road, Barrow, will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on April 26.
Chair of the bench Robert Maddock told Hird: “We are concerned that the potential sentence is significantly beyond our powers.
“Hopefully you have come to realise today this is an extremely serious matter.”
The court handed Hird an interim driving ban ahead of the sentencing hearing and bailed him unconditionally.