Man in borrowed van caused £2,000 damage after crashing into bus - then drove off

Daniel Smith was hit with a hefty court bill.
Daniel Smith was hit with a hefty court bill.

A son who borrowed a van to deliver an oven to his mum was given a grilling by magistrates – after causing over £2,000 of damage in a road crash with a bus before fleeing the scene.

Daniel Smith persuaded a pal to let him use the Ford Transit – but he ended up en route to the dock when he drove into the back of a Stagecoach bus as it came to a stop to let off passengers.

Obviously your driving standards of not of a high enough standard otherwise you wouldn’t have hit a bus.

Gordon Minto, magistrate

The 36-year-old then ‘shot off’ from the scene before police arrived and failed to report the accident within 24 hours.

Smith admitted charges of failing to stop after an accident, failing to report an accident, driving otherwise than in accordance with the licence and driving without insurance at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

He was hit with a £730 court bill and a 12-month driving disqualification – and warned not to get behind the wheel.

Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “At 3.15pm on May 2, Smith was driving a Ford Transit van which was in collision with a bus in Laygate, South Shields.

“Following the collision, he failed to remain at the scene.

“Inquiries discovered that the van was used for advertising local businesses with signage on the side and for transporting items.

“The bus had a number of passengers on board.

“The driver had signalled to his near-side and slowed the bus to pull into a bus stop when he felt a shunt at the rear, which caused the engine to stall.

“He got out of the vehicle to speak to the van driver, but he had driven off.

“The damage cost £2,069 to repair.”

Smith later voluntarily attended the police station and admitted the string of road offences.

He told officers a passenger in the vehicle at the time had permission to drive the vehicle and he had asked whether he could drive the vehicle to pick up an oven.

Mrs Beck added: “He told police he was trying to overtake the bus when he collided with it.

“He then shot off and then got out of the van and left it.”

Valerie Bell, defending, said: “He was very frank with the police.

“He accepted he was the driver at the time and didn’t have insurance or a licence.

“He had been offered an oven by a friend who was having his kitchen refurbished and was going to give it to his mum.”

Gordon Minto, chairman of the magistrates, said; “Obviously your driving standards are not of a high enough standard,otherwise you wouldn’t have hit a bus.

“You failed to stop and by your own admission, panicked and drove off.

“You now have a heavy financial burden to bear.”

Smith, of Cormorant House, South Shields, was fined £450 and ordered to pay a criminal courts charge of £150, prosecution costs of £85 and a £45 victim surcharge.

He was also given a year-long driving ban.