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Jail for driver who went wrong way down M40
AN “exhausted” driver pulled on to the hard shoulder of the M40 before performing a U-turn and speeding the wrong way down the fast lane before crashing into an oncoming car.
Daniel Hwyl had taken his father’s Mitsibushi people carrier without permission after a 12-hour shift working as a rail engineer in Wembley, North London.
Hwyl, 31, said he had to drive home to Birmingham after discovering his son was ill.
But as he passed Oxford Services at junction 8a on the busy motorway, he pulled on to the hard shoulder, Oxford Crown Court was told yesterday. For reasons he, and his barrister, were unable to explain he did a U-turn and sped off south along the northbound fast lane.
The weather at the time of the incident on the evening of March 21 was described as sleeting and the road was wet.
Witness statements from experienced lorry drivers described the confusion following Hwyl’s actions which saw him head at speed into oncoming traffic.
The court heard Hwyl had worked from 6am to 6pm and had eaten a large meal before getting in the car. He said he was “stressed” and “exhausted”.
Hwyl added: “I pulled my vehicle over on the M40 hard shoulder due to my tiredness and opened the windows and carried on my journey.
“I pulled ont o the carriageway again and in the next few minutes I fell asleep and the next I was aware I had collided with a vehicle.”
Naomi Perry, prosecuting, told the court the driver of the car Hwyl crashed into, was fortunate to suffer only minor injuries. She said: “What he says in his statement and what I think we can all agree is that it could have been worse.”
Defending, Tim Greaves said: “There’s very little I can say in relation to what took place. “While these kind of incidents demand explanation, he really is unable to provide one. He made a very foolish decision having been exhausted.”
Hwyl admitted dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking at a hearing in September.
The court was told he had a number of driving offences, dating back to 2004.
Hwyl was jailed for 10 months for dangerous driving. For the aggravated vehicle taking he was jailed for three months, with the jail terms to run concurrently.
He was also disqualified from driving for four years and must pass an extended driving test before he is allowed back on the road.
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