A drink driver who caused a horrific head-on crash which “ruined” a South Shields couple’s lives has been jailed.
Former South Tyneside councillor Terry Haram was left seriously ill in hospital and his wife, Margaret, was also hurt in the smash on the A66 at Temple Sowerby, near Penrith, Cumbria, on October 24.
Jerry Bouma, 44, was today sentenced to three years in prison at Carlisle Crown Court. He had previously admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and driving with excess alcohol. Tim Evans, prosecuting, said Bouma, of Oudewater, Holland, took over the driving of a Renault Master van from another man at a petrol station close to the crash scene.
A witness then saw him perform a “risky” manoeuvre, pulling out on to the A66 in front of a lorry.
When a dual carriageway became a single road, others saw Bouma make several impatient attempts to overtake.
One witness later told police: “I thought ‘what are they doing? No-one overtakes there. It is madness.”
That witness said they then heard a “loud bang and crunch” as the collision occurred.
Both Mr Haram and his wife were injured as the van ploughed into their Nissan Qashqai.
Mr Evans said: “Mr Haram has suffered life-changing injuries and indeed life-threatening injuries. Both he and his wife, who also suffered fractures, were airlifted to hospital.”
The court heard a doctor said that Mr Haram sufered a large numger of broken bones and remains in hospital after surgery and remains in hospital, receiving daily visits from his wife.
The sourt heard she later told police: “The driver has completely ruined Terry’s life and our lives.”
The court heard Mr Haram is a “proud man” but was not yet able to walk and needed to have his food cut up for him, the court heard.
Bouma had drunk wine and vodka the previous evening to help him sleep during a ferry journey to the UK.
Paul Tweddle, defending, said: “He would, for what it is worth, wish to extend his greatest sympathy to the family in order that Mr Haram makes a full and decent recovery. He is genuinely remorseful.”
Judge Peter Davies handed down the prison sentence to Bouma, who had a previous excess alcohol conviction in his native country.
He called the five-year maximum penalty laid down by Parliament for the offence “inadequate and insufficient”.
Judge Davies also imposed a four-year driving ban, telling Bouma the result of drink and his dangerous driving on the A66 had been “catastrophic”.
“Nothing I can say and no sentence I can pass can adequately represent the court’s shock and horror at the sort of injuries this man suffered,” said the judge.
“It was a particularly, singularly, selfish, impatient form of driving.”