Watch drunk accountant drive for five miles with car bonnet covering windscreen after crash
A drunk accountant who continued for five miles with his car bonnet coveringthe windscreen after a crash has been spared jail.
John Kavanagh, who was more than twice the legal drink-drive limit, smashed his VW Golf into the back of a Renault Megan at traffic lights at Testos roundabout.
Instead of staying at the scene of the collision, the 26-year-old drove off with his bonnet raised and airbags inflated, then collided with a telegraph pole.
Despite having no front view, Kavanagh continued driving along Newcastle Road and did not stop for five miles, until he reached Sunderland Road in South Shields, where he either crashed again or simply stopped.
Kavanagh, of Front Street, Whitburn, admitted dangerous driving, excess alcohol and failing to stop.
Judge Jonathan Carroll told him: "Any rational person involved in such a traffic collision would, no doubt, immediately pull over and go and check no-one had been hurt in the other vehicle.
"You didn't, you carried on driving, despite the fact the collision had popped the bonnet of your vehicle, which was up and over the windscreen, blocking your view."
The judge said Kavanagh's reasoning was "panic" but also the fact he was "significantly" over the drink-drive limit.
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Judge Carroll added: "You drove for about five miles in that state, with the bonnet up."
Kavanagh was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation and programme requirements, 120 hours unpaid work and a two-year road ban with extended test requirement.
His shocking driving was captured on a mobile phone recording taken by a witness who saw the initial crash.
Prosecutor Ian Cook told the court as a result of the first collision Kavanagh's car bonnet popped open.
Mr Cook said: "The bonnet was raised, completely obstructing his view. The airbags had also gone off."But the defendant did not stop."
The driver of the car Kavanagh first crashed into said his Renault was written-off and he needed physiotherapy for back pain.
He said he even took out life insurance afterwards as he felt "lucky not to have been killed".Jennifer Coxon, defending, said Kavanagh, who is a qualified accountant, lost the job he had at the time of the crash as a result of his pending road ban but now has a job in London.Miss Coxon added: "He understands there is clearly an issue that needs to be looked at, as to why someone with no previous convictions, well educated and strong work ethic would commit such a serious offence that would warrant a custodial sentence."Miss Coxon said the court proceedings have been a "wake up call" for Kavanagh, who is a dedicated employee and poses a low risk of re-offending.