A DRIVER has been sentenced for causing a road traffic collision which left four people seriously injured.

Norman Chai, 66, from Woking in Surrey, appeared at Exeter Crown Court for sentence on Wednesday, July 3, having pleaded guilty to four causing serious injury by dangerous driving charges.

He was sentenced to two years in custody suspended for two years, tagged for three months and ordered to pay a £2,000 fine by Recorder James Bromige. Chai was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to take an extended test.

During the sentencing hearing, the court heard how on November 26, 2022 a three vehicle collision occurred on the A30 near Rawridge, Devon.

The driver of one of the vehicles involved, Chai, was driving to Cornwall for a holiday accompanied by his wife and mother-in-law.

Despite wet driving conditions, Chai went to overtake a HGV, so moving into a dedicated turning lane for opposing traffic.

Chai then violently pulled his vehicle back into his own lane before a central island, but in doing so lost control of his vehicle and ‘fishtailed’ across into the path of oncoming traffic before striking the front of an oncoming Mitsubishi.

The collision caused Chai’s Vauxhall to rotate 180 degrees clockwise back into the westbound carriageway before coming to rest. The Mitsubishi, unable to avoid Chai’s vehicle, also rotated and came to rest. A Kia Rio following the Mitsubishi was unable to avoid colliding with the driver’s side of the Mitsubishi.

As a result of the collision Chai, his wife and mother-in-law all suffered multiple lacerations and fractures.

The driver of the Mitsubishi also sustained fractures, as did the passenger of the Kia Rio following the Mitsubishi.

In interview Chai said that he believed he waited until there was enough room and time for him to overtake the HGV, but ended up losing control. He added that with hindsight, he shouldn’t have carried out the manoeuvre.

Sergeant Troy Bennett of the Serious Collision Investigations Team said: “Norman Chai’s actions on the 26 November 2022 had catastrophic consequences.

“His illegal overtake contravened double solid white lines, he travelled through the filter lane for oncoming traffic and almost collided into a central traffic island before he lost control.

“This was done during heavy rain with wet roads and was a highly dangerous and egregious manoeuvre resulting in serious injuries to five people, including Chai himself, occupants of his own car, and those in the oncoming vehicles he struck.

“The dashcam footage of the collision released by us today demonstrates how quickly things can go devastatingly wrong when you drive dangerously.

“Devon and Cornwall Police are committed to reducing fatal and serious injury collisions on our roads and all drivers have a responsibility to drive carefully and appropriately.”