A BANNED driver whose excessive speed and aggression at the wheel caused an accident which left two people seriously injured has been jailed.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that Lee Cooney, 44, whose past record of 131 offences includes six previous examples of disqualified driving, was seen before the crash driving so fast his car was said to be travelling "like a bullet." 

The three vehicle collision he caused on a service road adjacent to the M6 Motorway near Metal Bridge, north of Carlisle, left two people with appalling injuries.

One - the driver of a transit van - suffered a broken wrist so serious that he had to give up his career as a joiner; while the other victim - a woman who was driving a Renault Clio - suffered multiple fractures to her neck.

In court, Cooney, of Caird Avenue, Belah, Carlisle, admitted two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Betsy Hindle, prosecuting, outlined the offence, which Cooney committed on December 3, 2019, at 8.15am. Seconds before the crash, a witness saw the defendant driving in a VW Golf "aggressively" behind him.

The service road's speed limit was 60mph - yet the witness saw Cooney's VW Golf go past him "like a bullet," the court heard.

Moments later, as Cooney tried to overtake the transit van on a bend, he collided with it.

Cooney's car spun out of control and crashed into a Renault Clio driven by a woman who said she had no chance to avoid the collision.

She was trapped in her crashed car and had to be cut free while the transit van driver - who could smell burning - had to force his way out of his crashed vehicle.

Cooney, who suffered a punctured lung and a broken nose, behaved aggressively towards people trying to help him and walked away. Police found him 300 yards away. After the crash, Cooney's VW Golf's speedometer was frozen at 84mph.

The defendant - a banned driver - admitted taking drugs at a party a few days earlier - but said he felt okay to drive. Judith McCullough, for Cooney, said had not taken drugs on the morning of the accident.

"He denies suggestions of speeds of over 100mph," said the barrister, adding that Cooney had no recollection of the crash. After suffering a trauma earlier in his life, he used drugs and this led him into crime, she said. Judge Nicholas Barker jailed Cooney for 36 months and imposed a driving ban of 78 months, ordering that Cooney must sit an extended test before he allowed to drive again.