Victim warns of ‘cruise’ danger

The scene of the incident
The scene of the incident
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A woman seriously injured when a driver who was ‘showing off’ to his girlfriend at a car cruise event lost control and ploughed into the crowd has urged people not to attend unlicensed meetings.

Chloe Wilson (18) suffered a broken tibia and fibula when Anthony Francis, (21), of Lambeth Walk, Stamford, lost control of his Mercedes at an event in Stapledon Road, Orton Southgate on August 8 last year.

Anthony Francis

Anthony Francis

Four others were seriously injured, and another four hurt in the crash.

On Friday, pub manager Francis was jailed for 18 months, and banned from driving for two years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, and five counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Chloe, from Holbeach, said: “I am pleased justice has prevailed.

“There were a lot of serious injuries caused. I hope this sentence deters people from going to similar events. I don’t want other people to go through what I did.

“All I remember of the incident is seeing car headlights coming towards me.

“The next thing I was standing up and saw my leg was at an angle. My friends said I needed to lay down and then the paramedics came.

“I had an open break of the tibia and fibula, and needed rods and pins put in.”

At the Peterborough Crown Court hearing, the court was told Francis had done a number of laps of a course set up at the event, which saw about 400 people attend.

Jason Stevens, defending, said a suspended sentence would allow Francis to continue in his job, and would be an appropriate sentence for his actions.

But, sentencing, Recorder Pulman QC noted Francis’ remorse, and said: “When nine people are injured because a driver loses control while showing off, an immediate prison sentence cannot be avoided.”

PC Paul Nisbet, who investigated, said: “This was an horrific crash for those injured and for the many people watching and it is only luck that no-one was more seriously hurt or killed.

“The case should send out a clear message that those taking part in illegal events of this kind run a significant risk of being seriously injured, or worse, and if you happen to be driving, a prison sentence.”