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Video: Man Jailed for Causing Serious Injury in Wrong-Way A21 Crash

A head-on collision caused by a driver traveling on the wrong side of the A21 near Vinehall Street, by Robertsbridge has resulted in a Hastings man suffering life-changing injuries and the culprit behind the wheel facing a substantial prison sentence.

Jean Dias, 44, of Sandown Way, Bexhill, was driving a Land Rover when he collided with a white Ford Fiesta early in the morning on January 24 last year. The impact of the crash left the 54-year-old Fiesta driver, who has not been named, with severe injuries requiring extensive recovery. He has since been unable to walk unaided and faces daily challenges in his routine activities, severely affecting his quality of life and that of his family.

The incident, which occurred around 5:15 AM, was captured on traffic cameras showing Dias’ vehicle on the incorrect side of the road for at least ten seconds before the collision. Despite Dias’ claims of a possible vehicle fault leading to the car veering off course, subsequent investigations by authorities found the Land Rover had no mechanical defects. The investigation concluded that careless or potentially reckless driving by Dias was the most likely cause of the tragic event.

On April 19, at Lewes Crown Court, Dias pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was sentenced to two years and four months in prison and has been disqualified from driving for five years.

Emergency services at the scene had to extricate the victim from his vehicle, where he was found mechanically trapped within the twisted remains of his car. The road was closed for several hours as police and rescue teams worked to clear the wreckage and investigate the scene.

This case highlights the continuing issue of careless and dangerous driving, which remains a significant factor in many road-related deaths and injuries. The sentencing serves as a reminder of the severe consequences of such actions on the roads of East Sussex.

Sergeant Vicki Rees from the Roads Policing Unit said: “The victim’s life has been changed immeasurably as a result of this collision.

“It illustrates the danger of not paying full attention when you’re behind the wheel.

“We may never know the full reason why Dias was on the wrong side of the road, but it was most likely a significant and prolonged lapse in concentration.

“Dias is fortunate that this collision did not lead to the death of the driver in the Ford Fiesta, or to more serious harm for himself and other road users.

“Throughout April my colleagues across the Roads Policing Unit have been carrying out additional patrols to raise awareness of the ‘fatal five’ factors which cause people to be killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“Those factors are; driving at excess or inappropriate speed, drink or drug-driving, not wearing a seatbelt, driving while distracted such as using a mobile phone, and driving in a careless, anti-social or dangerous manner as in this case.

“This case shows the devastating consequences this kind of poor driving can have, and shows our determination to fully investigate to ensure offenders are brought to justice.”

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