Linford Christie prosecuted for careless driving after collision with a taxi
Linford Christie, former Olympic sprint champion, has recently been disqualified from driving for 15 months and fined £5,000 after driving on the wrong side of the road and crashing into a taxi.
The accident, occurring close to midnight on May 8th 2010, happened on the A413 in Chalfort St Peter in Buckinghamshire. Christie hit the taxi head-on and injured taxi driver Naeem Akhtar, newlyweds Claire Lloyd-Ashton and Peter Ashton and the bride’s Uncle Michael Burt.
The taxi was taking the newlyweds to a hotel for their first night of married life; instead they ended up in A&E.
During the trial, the jury heard how Christie had driven to buy a pint of milk from a Tesco Express and when realising the petrol station was closed decided to do a u turn. He drove for 13 seconds on the wrong side of the carriageway before smashing into the taxi.
Mr. Akhtar was in hospital for three and a half months after suffering a broken elbow and wrist and fractures to both legs, Mrs. Lloyd-Ashton received bruising to her chest and knees, Mr. Ashton suffered from a punctured lung and four broken ribs while Mr. Burt was hospitalised for two months including six days in intensive care in an enforced coma. He broke his leg, hip, spine and pelvis and needed re-constructive surgery to his face and requires further surgery.
Christie was cleared of the more serious charge of dangerous driving, which he had denied, after a two day trial at Aylesbury Crown Court.
Mr Burt said “I’m very disappointed at the outcome. I have to live with the serious injuries that Christie caused. I suffered multiple fractures and damage to my face which were so severe that I now have several metal plates holding my scull together.”
Christie commented “I saw the lights and bang. I smelt a funny smell and thought if I didn’t get out quickly, I was going to die.”
He managed to climb out of the window of his badly damaged Audi A8 (with the personalised number plate 100 RUN) before he fell to the ground and allegedly shouted “Oh my God, it’s all my fault”
Separate civil claims against Christie are on-going.
This story reminds us all that accidents happen. Make sure you are covered by an expert insurance broker who provides you with experienced advice, support and assistance should you be involved in an accident. Call 0800 142 2828 for more information.