Mum jailed after crashing while three times over the limit with 20-month-old son in car

Tania Chikwature, 32, arrives at court. Tania Chikwature.
Magistrates Court, Peterborough
10/04/2017. 
Picture by Terry Harris. THA
Tania Chikwature, 32, arrives at court. Tania Chikwature. Magistrates Court, Peterborough 10/04/2017. Picture by Terry Harris. THA

A mum who was drinking behind the wheel before she rolled her car with her 20 month old son in the back in a high speed crash has been jailed.

Tania Chikwature, (32) was locked up for 26 weeks at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court today (Monday) after admitting being more than three times the drink drive limit when she crashed the Nissan Qashqai happened on the A605 near the Haddon services on December 12.

The scene of the crash on the A605. Photo: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

The scene of the crash on the A605. Photo: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

Her young son was shaken but did not suffer serious injuries in the crash. You can watch footage of the crash here.

District Judge Ken Sheraton said it was lucky she had not killed someone in the collision, after hearing Chikwature had admitted to police she had probably been drinking vodka while behind the wheel.

He said: “It is only by luck, and certainly no judgement of yours, that you are not here facing more serious charges, and you are fortunate that someone did not die in that accident.”

Corinne Soanders-Silk, prosecuting, told the court dash cam footage from a lorry showed Chikwature, who is still wearing a neck brace following the crash, had overtaken a lorry at speed, crossing double white lines in the road, which indicated there should be no overtaking.

The scene on the A605 where the car overturned - Photo @roadpoliceBCH

The scene on the A605 where the car overturned - Photo @roadpoliceBCH

Miss Soanders-Silk said Chikwature had been driving from her home in Coventry to Peterborough for a wake when the incident happened.

he car hit the central reservation in the road, before hitting the roundabout. The lorry driver who Chickwature had overtaken said the Nissan flew 12 to 14 feet in the air.

The driver said: “I thought ‘they are not going to make it.

“The car flew 12-14 feet in the air, cleared the roundabout and hit a tree, landing on the roof on the other side of the roundabout. I could see utter devastation.

Tania Chikwature, 32, arrives at court.,
Magistrates Court, Peterborough
10/04/2017. 
Picture by Terry Harris. THA

Tania Chikwature, 32, arrives at court., Magistrates Court, Peterborough 10/04/2017. Picture by Terry Harris. THA

“In 32 years driving, it is one of the most dangerous pieces of driving I have witnessed.”

Blood samples taken from Chikwature after the crash showed her alcohol level would have been at 246mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood - more than three times the legal limit of 80mg in 100ml of blood.

Sarah Dunne, defending, said she could not mitigate the driving, but described Chikwature’s son as the principal victim in the case.

She said: “Nothing you (Judge Sheraton) can say or do that will come close to the guilt, shame and remorse she feels at the potential consequences her driving could have had, principally to her young son, but also to other road users.”

Miss Dunne added:” The child would be a victim if you take the mother away from him by sending her to custody.”

But Judge Sheraton said custody was the only option, and said the Chikwature would have been travelling at a high speed in the crash - despite the slowing down the car would have done as it hit the central reservation and the roundabout.

Chikwature, of Butterfly Way, Coventry, was jailed for 12 weeks for driving with excess alcohol, and 26 weeks for dangerous driving, to be served concurrently.

She was also banned from driving for three years on each count, and ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.