Drunk driver crushed victim after Santa Pod event

Luton Crown Court
Luton Crown Court
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A camper was crushed against a car after a man who had been drinking heavily crashed his car while showing on a campsite, a court heard.

Thomas Montellier, who was also camping at a site near Santa Pod Raceway following an Ultimate Street Car event, performed ‘doughnuts’ in his car with a 5.7 litre engine, but lost control with devastating results.

A previous event at Santa Pod Raceway

A previous event at Santa Pod Raceway

Another camper had gone to fetch some items from the boot of his car when Montellier’s Vauxhall Monaro ploughed into him and crushed him against the vehicle.

The victim, David Andrews, received several fractures to his leg, and his shin bone was pushed through his calf muscle, Luton Crown Court was told. He has been unable to return to work as a forklift truck driver.

Montellier, 33, was almost three times over the legal alcohol limit two hours after the incident at the Podington circuit on August 4 this year.

The defendant, from The Avenue, Wemouth, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol. He was jailed for 16 months and banned from driving for two years. He must take an extended driving test before regaining his licence.

Montellier admitted he had been drinking steadily since about 3pm when he decided to move his car at midnight.

Witnesses saw him drive to a grass area and start performing ‘doughnuts’, where the vehicle is spun round on a tight lock. He lost control and crashed into the BMW parked near another tent.

Rachel Ward, defending said: “His recollection is that he was not showing off, but lost control of the high powered vehicle on the grass probably due to his intoxication. He is genuinely remorseful and cannot bring himself to look at the photographs of the injuries. He thinks about it every day and can’t sleep or eat.”

She said he had never been convicted of a motoring offence before and had lost his job in the motor trade because of being disqualified. “It is unlikely he will ever get a job in the industry again with these convictions.”

Judge David Farrell QC told Montellier: “There is no doubt in my mind that under the influence of alcohol you decided to show off but you lost control. The consequences of the collision have had a dramatic effect on Mr Andrew’s life and his family. It was a totally avoidable incident. You were performing doughnuts in a small populated area which was highly dangerous. It was reckless and stupid.”