Drunk man flees crash scene and drives for five miles with bonnet up

A drink driver who smashed into the back of another car drove off with his bonnet sticking up and obscuring his view.

John Kavanagh was caught on camera as he drove his VW Golf having downed wine which left him more than twice the legal limit.

A court heard James Fleck was pulling away from traffic lights on the A19 when Kavanagh smashed into the back of his Renault Megane, writing it off.

The accountant also caused extensive damage to his own car – including popping the blue Golf's bonnet and setting off airbags.

But instead of pulling over, Kavanagh panicked and decided to flee, Chronicle Live reports .

Mobile phone footage taken by a passenger in another car shows him weaving across the road as he struggles to see past the bonnet.

He crashed into a telegraph pole but didn't stop for five miles, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Ian Cook said the collision happened "with some force", causing extensive damage to the VW and the Renault.

He told the court that when police turned up, Kavanagh was "visibly under the influence of alcohol" and said: "I'm sorry this is all my fault".

He was breathalysed and found to have 98mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, the legal limit being 35mg.

Mr Fleck said in a victim impact statement his car was written off, which had financial and personal implications for him and he has also had physiotherapy for back pain.

He added: "I've taken out life insurance because I have a young daughter and family and I feel lucky not to have been killed. The driver could easily have killed somebody."

Kavanagh, 26, of Front Street, Whitburn, admitted dangerous driving, excess alcohol and failing to stop.

He was sentenced to 12 months suspended for two years with 120 hours of unpaid work and was banned from driving for two years.

Judge Jonathan Carrol told him: "Any rational person involved in such a road traffic accident would, no doubt, immediately pull over and go and check nobody had been hurt in the other vehicle.

"You didn't, you carried on driving despite the fact the crash had popped the bonnet of your vehicle, which was up and over the screen, blocking your view."

The judge added: "Drunk people should not be near a motor vehicle.

"You took a risk and put your own needs over everybody else's.

"You drove for about five miles in that state, with the bonnet up, before eventually coming to a stop."

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