Published: 00:01, 24 October 2018
| Updated: 09:04, 24 October 2018
A Serco bin lorry driver who caused a head-on crash when overtaking two vehicles has been banned from driving for two years.
Former soldier Dean Wright, 28, was on his way to take his car for its MOT when he performed the dangerous manoeuvre on the Canterbury to Sarre Road last November.
Canterbury Crown Court heard how the Audi struck a Mercedes van head-on, leaving driver Shaun Eley and passenger Daniel Bradford needing hospital treatment.
Wright, of Knockholt Road, Cliftonville, admitted causing serious injury by driving dangerously.
But the former squaddie, who served in Afghanistan, was praised by a judge for not using the trauma of fighting in a war zone to minimise his responsibility.
The court heard how the accident on the A28 Island Road at Sarre happened on a straight stretch of the road.
Judge Catherine Brown told Wright: “You were on the wrong side of the road when you collided with an oncoming van.
“The van driver had no opportunity to avoid the collision.
“It is clear that you overtook one car and that you were attempting to overtake a second car at the time of the collision.”
The court also heard it was possible Wright was using his mobile phone at the time.
“There is evidence that at or very shortly before the collision you made a nine-second voice call,” Judge Brown continued.
“I accept that this was a hands-free Bluetooth call. There is a real possibility that making that call, even if it was completed prior to the overtaking manoeuvre, distracted your focus from what you were doing.”
Mr Eley suffered a serious foot injury in the crash and was away from work for four months.
Mr Bradford sustained a cut to his head which had to be stitched.
Judge Brown said that apologies can sometimes sound like self pity but Wright’s remorse was genuine.
He was also hurt and was flown to a London hospital to be treated for injuries to his pelvis and ribs. He cannot recall the crash, the court heard.
Wright was given a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.