Pensioner banned from driving after crashing into shop worker causing injuries that ‘destroyed’ his life

A BIKER who suffered life-changing injuries to his leg after being hit by a truck driven by pensioner has said: ‘He should be disqualified for life.’

Thursday, 1st August 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 1st August 2019, 10:58 am
Michael Woods, (71), of Downhouse Road, Waterlooville

Michael Woods, 71, from Downhouse Road, Catherington, was banned from the roads for six months at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court after being convicted of causing serious injury by careless driving in his Toyota Hilux.

On December 29 last year, Woods pulled into Sunnymead Drive from Milton Road at about 5.30pm, across the path of an oncoming motorcycle.

The biker, 25-year-old Ray Chandler from Waterlooville, was left with life-changing injuries to his right leg, and is now unable to even carry his two-month-old baby. He was in hospital from the day of the accident until February 14.

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Michael Woods, (71), of Downhouse Road, Waterlooville

Woods last year kept his licence in March last year after knocking unconscious a Highways England officer on the A3(M) on November 11, 2016.

Speaking to The News, Ray said: ‘I think he should be disqualified for life now.

‘At the end of the day he’s 72 years old. If he was 30 or 50 I could understand keeping your licence but why doesn’t the poor sod retire?’

William Goss, mitigating, said a ban would leave Woods out of a job and with no way to pay his mortgage, forcing him to get taxis for frequent medical appointments.

Motorcyclist Ray Chandler, 25 from Waterlooville. Picture: David George

Woods also complained in court that his collision with Mr Chandler's red and black Aprilia Tuono had ‘written off’ his Toyota pickup truck.

Sentencing, district judge Gary Lucie said: ‘This is quite serious – you have got a recent conviction for the very same thing – and were told to expect a disqualification.

‘I do empathise with your situation but the law says that everyone who loses their licence will experience hardship.’

Woods, who already had nine points on his licence, was also made to pay a fine of £200, £85 costs and a £30 surcharge.

Motorcyclist Ray Chandler, 25 from Waterlooville, and the injuries to his right leg when he was hit with a car being driven by Michael Woods. Picture: David George

Speaking outside court, victim Mr Chandler – who had nine operations in the space of four weeks after the crash – said his life has been ‘destroyed’ by the incident.

Mr Chandler, who is still due another four operations on his leg, said: ‘What annoys me is that if he was convicted more harshly the first time around, this wouldn't have happened.

‘I have to carry my leg into the car and bath, my partner has to wash my leg for me and we’re now trying to get a wet room for our flat.

‘I couldn’t even carry my two-month-old baby because I’ve been falling over every time I stand up.

‘I’m happy about the result but he shouldn’t have been on the road in the first place.’

RoadPeace, a charity for victims of road accidents, said this type of incident should lead to a lifetime ban.

The News has campaigned for tougher sentences on dangerous drivers. The government promised action but has not yet legislated.

Chief executive Nick Simmons said: ‘Not only would greater use of driving bans save families from injustice, they are the most effective way of keeping dangerous drivers off the road and therefore reducing road danger.

‘RoadPeace has for a long time called for driving bans to be used more – it is a punishment that fits the crime, and prevents further devastation.’