A man who crashed his Fiat Punto into oncoming traffic while overtaking on a busy Kettering road has been jailed.
Preda Mihaita, 43, was travelling along the A605 Oundle Road at Thorpe Waterville when he pulled out and, after near-misses with other vehicles, hit a lorry.
Northampton Crown Court heard how he had a close relationship with his passenger, his nephew, who he treated as a son after the death of his own father.
Mihaita had been giving him a lift back to Birmingham following a job interview that day.
At about 10pm, he pulled out into the oncoming carriageway, avoided a head-on collision with one lorry before hitting a BMW that spun him out of control and into the path of a second lorry.
The driver of that lorry tried to avoid him but could not do so.
After the crash his nephew was left with a serious pelvic injury and internal injuries resulting in the need for a colostomy bag.
Witnesses saw the Punto burst into flames following the crash and the fire was put out but a quick-thinking motorist who used his own fire extinguisher. The passenger was eventually cut from the vehicle by the fire service.
Mihaita, who gave his address as Kentish Road, Birmingham, but lives in Romania, told the court that he had no recollection of the accident on September 12 last year.
Mitigating for Mihaita, Natalie Carter, said he may have been confused by driving on a different carriageway to when he is back home in Romania.
Urging Judge Fowler not to send her client to prison, she added: “Mr Mihaita doesn’t come across as a man who’s a risk-taker. He’s certainly not someone who would risk his own safety and that of his nephew who he loves very much.
“His own father died some time ago and he was calling out ‘dad, dad’ on the scene. There’s clearly a very close relationship between the two.
“Mr Mihaita doesn’t have any recollection of the incident.”
His Honour Judge Michael Fowler said: “This is a road that even in daylight one takes great care to overtake anything.
“He was obviously tired and it wasn’t sensible to try and drive.
“This was an extremely serious incident.”
Mihaita pleaded guilty to one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was sentenced to serve 12 months behind bars, and was disqualified from driving for two years.