A SPEEDING driver put two people in hospital and could have killed someone when he drove at 68mph through a built-up area of York after drinking, a court heard.

Gary Precious, 27, was driving at more than twice the legal speed limit, was on the wrong side of the road in Tang Hall and was approaching a 20mph sign when he caused a head-on crash. He has been jailed for two years.

The other driver, Simon Dix, 29, suffered lung, hip, pelvis and other injuries in the crash and spent three weeks in hospital and three months on crutches and has yet to fully recover eight months on, said Helen Wheatley, prosecuting at York Crown Court.

Mr Dix’s passenger, Christina Olteanu, suffered a broken sternum and spent three days in hospital.

Precious had been drinking when he approached the bridge on Tang Hall Lane at 4am on July 28.

Mr Dix had no time to take evasive action, said Ms Wheatley. “There was an almighty thud, followed by a second thud and lots of smoke in his vehicle,” she said.

Precious smelled of alcohol, but refused to take a drink-driving blood test.

The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said. “It is a mercy no one was killed. This is one of those cases that should serve as a stark warning that people should not get behind the wheel when they are impaired because other people’s lives are then put at risk.”

Precious’s barrister, Nigel Edwards, said his client hoped to get married in July and start a job on oil rigs in the spring, but the judge said both plans would have to be put on hold.

Precious, 27, of Rockingham Avenue, Tang Hall, pleaded guilty to two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failure to provide a blood sample, driving without a licence and without insurance. In addition to the two-year jail term, he was banned from driving for four years and ordered to take an extended driving test.

The charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving is a relatively new charge, which came into force in December 2012.

Mr Edwards said Precious had had “one or two drinks” the evening before the crash when he got home from work in Wigginton and put his feet up.

Precious had told the barrister he was a long term asthmatic, and did not have a spare inhaler.

He was on the way to a pharmacist’s to get an inhaler when the crash occurred. He did not remember the collision, but thought it could have been caused by him not breathing properly and therefore going too fast. He too had suffered broken bones in the crash.