Published: 00:01, 17 September 2014
The victim of a horrific three-vehicle road crash has told how she feared being burned alive after becoming trapped in her car.
Pensioner Anne Payne had been travelling along the A259 Dymchurch Road when her car was hit head-on.
The crash was caused by Liam Allon, a 22-year-old drug dealer speeding along a busy road at 20mph over the limit before losing control while overtaking on a bend.
His Renault Clio – in which he had stashed cocaine, cannabis and drug-dealing equipment - ploughed into Ms Payne’s oncoming car, which was then struck from behind by another vehicle.
Ms Payne said the Renault heading towards her “out of the blue, turning and twisting like a hurricane.”
Prosecutor Jim Harvey told Canterbury Crown Court the Renault appeared to be in the air before the “explosion” and the terrified Ms Payne feared it was going to land on top of her.
She later told police officers that said she thought the vehicle was going to catch fire and screamed for help when she was unable to get out of her smashed-up vehicle.
Liam Allon, of Romney Sands Caravan Park, The Parade, New Romney, admitted causing serious injury by driving dangerously, driving while disqualified, without insurance, possessing drugs intending to sell them and failing to surrender to custody.
Mr Harvey said: “On October 4 in the afternoon there was a three-car pile-up on the A259 near the Warren Public House.
“Allon’s car was driving on that road and was the sole cause of the accident.
"The road had a 40mph limit but the Clio was driving at about 60 mph, on the wrong side of the road, twisting and turning as if he had lost control.”
The prosecutor added: “While investigating the collision, officers recovered various personal effects from the Renault, including two mobile phones, a substantial quantity of cannabis, cocaine, £750 in cash, a drug dealer’s tick list, a cannabis grinder and clear plastic bags.”
Minutes before the accident Allon’s car had been seen passing the Jolly Fisherman Pub “dangerously” overtaking a bus which was waiting to turn.
Eyewitness Sam Fluester told police he thought the Renault driver “was an idiot” and later saw the same vehicle “driving at very high speed and thought to himself he is going to have a crash”.
Then he saw the Renault “literally fly up in the air” as it took a bend before hitting Ms Payne’s vehicle.
Mr Fluester said: “The driving I witnessed was ridiculous. It was probably the most stupid behaviour from a driver that I have ever seen in my life.”
The third car involved in the crash was driven by Louise Campbell, who had been following Ms Payne’s vehicle.
She had seen the Renault “whizzing along the road” and braked sharply but couldn’t avoid hitting the car.
She said the “horrific crash” made her feel physically sick and she told how she could hear screams coming from both vehicles. She was also injured in the crash.
A passenger in Allon’s car, Elliott Jepps, was thrown through the windscreen and both men were also hurt.
Ms Payne, who is in her 70s, was trapped inside her vehicle screaming for help.
Firefighters and ambulance crews came to her help and she was taken by air ambulance to a London’s King's College Hospital.
Her injuries included cuts to her right shoulder, right lower arm and thumb, a punctured left lung, six broken ribs, three fractures to her sternum, fractured right pelvis, broken left kneecap, broken fibula and tibia to both legs, broken left and right ankles.
On October 5 she underwent a six-and-a-half hour operation She then spent three weeks in Kings before being transferred to Ashford.
She later told police: “This accident has had a great effect on my body, both physically and emotionally.
“I have suffered with extensive broken bones to my chest and legs and this has meant that I am immobile and unable to get out of bed.
"This has caused me much anxiety and I have rarely thought of anything else since the accident" - Anne Payne
“I was lucky not to lose my right foot and only because of extensive skilled surgery in London did I manage to keep it.
"But every movement is painful and it is frustrating not being independent.
"This has caused me much anxiety and I have rarely thought of anything else since the accident.
“I keep seeing horrible images in my mind, such as the car in the air."
The court heard how the latest offences were committed in breach of a previous suspended sentence for another dangerous driving of a car which had been taken without consent in St Mary’s Bay.
Allon, who appeared in the dock using a crutch, was jailed for a total of four years and a month and was banned from driving for four years.
The judge, Recorder Christopher Stirling, told him : “You drove recklessly and without any regard for any other road user."
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