Teacher suffered fractured vertebrae, rib fractures, a bleed on the brain after being hit by truck
Andrew Brady was on the first day of an agency job when the lorry he was driving suffered a malfunction that left the outrigger sticking out of the side of the vehicle.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 59-year-old, who was an experienced HGV driver but had had "little or no training" for the new job, had taken the vehicle to a garage in Boldon in a bid to repair the fault but it was closed.
And as he headed along Tile Shed Lane the dangerous metal structure, that he was unaware had stuck out, struck a teacher, who was out on a five-mile run in April last year, from behind.
The court heard the teacher was dragged along the road before landing face down with devastating injuries including fractured vertebrae, rib fractures, a small bleed on the brain and a laceration that meant a large part of his scalp had to be stapled back onto his head.
Prosecutor Michael Bunch said: "He was heading along Tile Shed Lane and can recall running in a westerly direction.
"The next thing which he was aware was being flat on the ground, having no idea what had happened.
"He was bleeding heavily."
The court heard Brady was oblivious to what he had done and continued driving until he hit a pedestrian barrier at a nearby Metro station and then a bollard at the side of a pedestrian crossing.
Despite his ordeal, which involved four days in hospital and the use of an uncomfortable neck brace as part of his treatment, the teacher has made a good physical recovery and has no ill feelings towards Brady.
He said "a large piece of my scalp was stapled back onto my head" and he suffered excruciating pain from his injuries.
He added in a recent impact statement: "I am now at least able to see it that clearly a terrible mistake was made that should not have happened.
"The gentleman himself will have to live with the consequences of his actions and the harm that was caused.
"I would like to wish him well and I hope he can put this behind him, as my wife and I are trying to."
Brady told police he had tried to fix the fault himself and was under "pressure and stress" on the first day a job that he did not want to lose.
Adam Birkby, defending, said: "This wasn't deliberate, it was a terrible mistake, as the victim of this case recognises, very generously so."
Mr Birkby said there had been a "rush" to get Brady out on the road that morning and the induction he was given "could have been better".
The court heard due to the age of the truck there was no alarm system, as there is in newer models, to alert the driver that the outrigger was protruding.
Judge Tim Gittins said what happened was "horrifying" to imagine and sentenced Brady to 20 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 200 hours unpaid work and a two year road ban.
Judge Gittins said Brady will have to live with what he did "for the rest of your days" and said the victim's statement was "one of the most truly impressive I have read at my time at the bar or bench".
The judge added: "He clearly bears you no malice and has, with time, been able to see this for the tragic accident that it was."
Brady, of Skendleby Drive, Kenton, Newcastle, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving.