A CARELESS driver caused a crash near Tenbury in which a 67-year-old woman suffered life-changing injuries.

A magistrate said the victim was "badly hurt and it could have been worse" before sentencing Louise Lewis. 

The 21-year-old held back tears as she thanked magistrates for not sending her immediately to prison.

Eleanor Peart, prosecuting, said Lewis had been driving a Ford Fiesta on the B4204, between Tenbury Wells and Clfiton-upon-Teme, on October 29 last year. 

The prosecutor said Lewis was at the junction to turn right into Kinthall Lane and the victim, Wendy Evans, was in a Suzuki car waiting behind her. 

"The defendant hesitated to take the turn," the prosecutor said. 

"She went slowly. It was an unsafe manoeuvre."

Miss Peart explained Lewis's actions blocked the other side of the road enough to force the driver of a Subaru, approaching in the opposite direction, to take evasive action. 

The prosecutor said the driver swerved and managed to avoid hitting Lewis's vehicle, but hit the Suzuki head-first.

The impact sent that vehicle into a 180 spin before the victim's car came to a rest in a hedge. 

Miss Peart said the victim suffered serious injuries which resulted in a number of operations. 

Miss Peart said the victim had been left in constant discomfort and added: "She says she has lost her independence. 

Ludlow Advertiser: SCENE: The B4204 turn off into Kinthall Lane where the crash took placeSCENE: The B4204 turn off into Kinthall Lane where the crash took place (Image: Google)

"She went swimming three times a week and met friends socially.

"She now relies on people to get her shopping."

Miss Peart said Lewis, of Wheeler Orchard, Tenbury Wells, had accepted in police interview she was responsible for causing the crash, adding the defendant had no previous convictions.

Lewis, who admitted causing serious injury by careless /inconsiderate driving, was defended by Charlotte Gregory during the case at Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday, (March 30).

Miss Gregory said: "She is deeply remorseful. 

"It is an out-of-character mistake. She has never been in trouble before.

"She accepts the consequences of her actions."

Miss Gregory said the Tesco worker had realised, in hindsight, she didn't have the time to complete the manoeuvre and said Lewis had been distracted by pheasant shooters by the side of the road.

The solicitor said the defendant was very concerned about the victim and the injuries she suffered, adding what had happened would live with her for the rest of her life.

Jayne Burton, chairman of the magistrates bench, said they had found the injuries serious enough for Lewis to be given a jail sentence of 17 weeks. 

But the chairman said the bench had decided to suspend it for a year. 

The chairman warned the defendant, if she completed another offence in the next year, she could expect to go to jail.

Lewis was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay £185 costs and £154 victim surcharge.

The chairman said there would be no order for compensation as it was understood this was being dealt with between insurance companies.