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Martin Tucker pleads guilty to dangerous driving after Maidstone crash

By Claire McWethy

A van driver left a motorcyclist fighting for his life after skipping a red light in a bid to avoid gridlock in Maidstone, a court heard.

Martin Tucker had been frustrated after getting stuck in heavy traffic travelling towards the town centre when he made the dangerous manoeuvre, on the A229 Royal Engineers Road.

Andrew Jones, prosecuting, said the 46-year-old, of Tonbridge Road, had driven his Fiat Scudo into a bus lane, through a red light and across oncoming traffic in a bid to get onto Chatham Road, towards Ringlestone.

The mangled bike after the crash

The mangled bike after the crash

At that point, Jordan Crist, who was riding his blue Suzuki 600 motorcycle in the Chatham-bound carriageway, crashed into the side of the van.

The young biker, in his 20s, was airlifted to King’s College Hospital in London in a serious condition.

It is understood he lost two litres of blood, and had to be brought back to life during the helicopter transfer.

Martin Tucker pleaded guilty at Maidstone Magistrates Court

Martin Tucker pleaded guilty at Maidstone Magistrates Court

His family posted a touching photograph of him recovering in a neck brace in his hospital bed, thanking people for their kind wishes and also a good samaritan who stayed by his side until the emergency services arrived.

Mr Jones said the biker suffered multiple ‘life-changing’ injuries.

Jordan Crist in hospital

Jordan Crist in hospital

The collision happened at about 5.30pm in November last year, and left the town gridlocked for three and a half hours while the emergency services were at the scene.

In a police interview, Tucker told officers he had chosen to take the illegal shortcut after coming up against “solid traffic” and had simply failed to see the motorcyclist.

Jordan Crist was left fighting for his life after the crash

Jordan Crist was left fighting for his life after the crash

At Maidstone Magistrates Court Tucker pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

His case will be sent to Maidstone Crown Court for sentence, at a date yet to be fixed.

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