Drug driver injured friends in police chase

A DRIVER caused serious injuries to four passengers when he crashed his car into a wall during a police chase while he was high on drugs.

Nathan Ellis was jailed for 28 months after a court heard how one of the passengers suffered life-threatening stomach injuries in the collision.

Leeds Crown Court heard Ellis, 22, tested four times over the legal limit for amphetamines after the incident in Pontefract on July 19 last year.

Martin Robertshaw, prosecuting, said officers spotted Ellis’s Ford Fiesta at 2.20am being driven erratically and without any lights on.

Ellis refused to stop and drove at 70mph in 30mph areas. He drove through a red light during the pursuit before hitting a wall on Aketon Lane.

The vehicle spun 180 degrees after the impact. Ellis was seen trying to swap seats with one of the passengers after the crash.

Officers looked inside the car and noticed it was “awash” with cans of lager inside.

A female passenger suffered a rupture to her abdominal wall and bowel damage. She had to have an operation to have part of her intestine removed after the collision.

Three other passengers suffered injuries including a broken collar bone, broken ribs and whiplash.

Ellis suffered a broken ankle. His DNA was recovered from the driver’s seat airbag.

Tests showed Ellis was above the limit for alcohol and amphetamines after the incident.

Ellis, of The Croft, Castleford, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, drink driving and driving over the limit for amphetamines.

Christopher Morton, mitigating, said Ellis had been to a party and had agreed to drive his friends home.

Mr Morton said Ellis’s vehicle was insured and the passengers would receive compensation over the incident.

He added that Ellis accepted he would be facing a prison sentence because the offences were so serious.

Jailing Ellis, judge Robin Mairs said: “It is by huge fortune alone and no thanks to you that there was not a death caused.”

Ellis was also banned from driving for four years, two months.

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