A 23-year-old hoon who collided with a car carrying a family of four during a street race in East Maitland has momentarily escaped jail.
Michael James Crittenden, of Greta Street, Telarah, received conditional bail after appealing a six month jail sentence handed down by the magistrate Darryl Pearce in Maitland Local Court yesterday.
Crittenden pleaded guilty to reckless driving while racing another car on the New England Highway about 4.50pm on November 4, last year.
Witnesses saw Crittenden and the other driver, who is yet to be sentenced, travelling at high speed along the highway, overtaking one another.
Documents tendered to the court said the vehicles reached speeds of 110km/h in 70km/h zones as they approached Victoria Street, East Maitland.
A 44-year-old woman, who was driving with her three children, aged 13, nine and four years, saw a break in traffic and turned onto the street when Crittenden struck the back of her car causing it to spin twice and collide with a median strip.
His car continued for 20 metres before it collided with the woman’s car and mounted the median strip.
Crittenden was trapped in the vehicle for an hour before being taken to John Hunter Hospital and later flown to Nepean Hospital with a broken jaw, fractured eye socket and cheek bone, broken teeth, a collapsed lung and swelling of the brain.
The woman driver and her three children were taken to John Hunter Hospital with minor injuries.
The driver of the car racing Crittenden avoided collision.
Mr Pearce described Crittenden’s driving as maniacal.
“Members of the public expect other drivers drive in a manner consistent with safety and not use the highway as a racetrack,” Mr Pearce said.
Crittenden will appeal his sentence at East Maitland District Court on October 8.