Kent

Man jailed after 15 people hurt in Medway car crash

Picture of scene taken by Toby Diamond Image copyright Toby Diamond
Image caption The crash happened on the Medway City Estate business park

A talented show jumper with ambitions to represent Great Britain has been jailed for dangerous driving after his car ploughed into 15 pedestrians.

Harlee Pendergast, 18, of Green Lane, Eltham, in south-east London, crashed into a crowd of car enthusiasts while speeding on an industrial estate.

Four men were seriously injured and a further five required hospital treatment, Woolwich Crown Court heard.

Pendergast was jailed for 18-months and given a four-year driving ban.

'Haunted'

The crash happened on Sir Thomas Longley Road on the Medway City Estate in Strood, Kent, at about 22:15 BST on 30 September 2016.

One man suffered a traumatic brain injury and permanent hearing loss in one ear.

Judge Christopher Kinch QC said: "This sort of driving where the risk is so obvious, and where it's undertaken to show off, has such serious consequences that it can only be met with immediate custody."

Pendergast wept in the dock as he was sentenced.

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Harlee Pendergast was jailed for 18 months

The speed limit on the estate is 30 mph, but witnesses said he drove up and down the road in his modified Mini in excess of 60 mph, drifting and fish-tailing his car for the audience at the car meet.

Police estimate his top speed was 69 mph.

He lost control and hit a crash barrier before ploughing into a crowd of bystanders.

Gudrun Young, defending, said Pendergast felt shame and remorse for his actions and was "haunted" by them.

She added that as a result of the crash the family had been forced to give up their livery yard.

Det Con David Holmes of Kent Police said: 'While we accept that Pendergast did not set out to seriously injure people, his reckless and indefensible behaviour put a large amount of people at risk.

'It is extremely fortunate that those injured did not lose their lives that night."

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