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Maidstone: Martin Tucker jailed after crash with motorcylist Jordan Crist on Royal Engineers Road

A van driver who nearly killed a motorcyclist because he wanted to save five minutes getting home in rush hour traffic has been jailed.

Martin Tucker, 46, had driven along a bus lane and gone through a red light on Royal Engineers Road in Maidstone when Jordan Crist's Suzuki collided with his Fiat Scudo.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that Mr Crist, 23, sustained life-threatening injuries in the accident on November 10 last year.

The mangled bike after the crash
The mangled bike after the crash

Tucker, of Tonbridge Road, sobbed moments before Judge Adele Williams sentenced him to two years and eight months.

At an earlier hearing he had admitted one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Prosecutor Keith Yardy told the court that the accident had devastating physical, psychological, personal and financial consequences for Mr Crist his partner Kimberley Haden, 19, and their two-year-old son Harry.

Mr Crist was approaching the junction at Royal Engineers Road at 5.30 and was on a green light when Tucker's van suddenly appeared in front of him.

Jordan Crist in hospital
Jordan Crist in hospital

He was taken to King's College Hospital in London with multiple fractures, a punctured lung and internal injuries including damaged kidneys.

Mr Yardy said that Tucker had gone into a bus lane and through a red light in an attempt to cross the junction.

"The traffic was solid and was crawling and he did this because he thought he would save five minutes from his journey," Mr Yardy said.

"Mr Crist, however, was driving perfectly lawfully and at 34mph was within the 40mph speed limit.

Martin Tucker at a previous appearance at Maidstone Magistrates Court
Martin Tucker at a previous appearance at Maidstone Magistrates Court

"The collision caused his van to spin round and left the rider of the motorcycle lying in the road."

When police spoke to Tucker, he admitted he had been in the wrong.

He said: "I should not have been in the bus lane and I should not have jumped the red light. He came out of nowhere. I just didn't see him."

Harry Bentley, defending, said Tucker wanted to apologise to Mr Crist and his family.

"He hopes the court will accept that he is sorry for the harm he has caused," Mr Bentley said.

"He has demonstrated significant remorse and was visibly upset by what happened. He was the first person to run over to Mr Crist and was seen crouching on the ground near him with his head in his hands."

Judge Williams told Tucker his he was guilty of "irresponsible judgement".

She said: "Jordan Crist suffered life-threatening injuries. The consequences have been devastating for this young man and his family. Nothing can compensate them for their pain and distress."

Tucker, who has two previous convictions for drink driving, was also banned from driving for four years and four months.

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