A GERMAN visitor caused a head-on smash and life-threatening injuries when she became confused following Google maps - and drove on the wrong side of the road.

Van driver Ingeborg Wesseler, 58, crashed into a car coming the other way, said Kathryn Reeve, prosecuting at York Magistrates' Court.

The car driver was in hospital for weeks with internal injuries and Wesseler was also seriously hurt in the collision on the A162 flyover above the A64 at Tadcaster between 5am and 6am on September 22.

The court allowed Wesseler to attend the hearing via a video link to her home in Werl, North Rhine Westphalia, Germany.

She pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving,

Magistrates sent her to York Crown Court to be sentenced on September 2.

The crown court has a general policy that defendants attend court physically for sentence unless they are in prison, in which case they attend via a video link.

Defence solicitor Clive Bergen said Wesseler was aware that in England, drivers drive on the left-hand side of the road.

On September 22, she had been heading for the ferry back to Germany after dropping her son off at university in York.

She had become confused following directions on a Google maps and had momentarily lost concentration.

“For a relatively short period of time – 220 metres - she found herself on the wrong side of the road,” he said.

She was very upset and concerned for the car driver. As a nurse she knew the effect of his injuries, he said.

Wesseler spent eight days in a British hospital before being transferred to a German hospital. She was now back at work with gradually increasing hours.

She had co-operated with the British police and had admitted her responsibility for the crash and its consequences when they spoke to her in hospital.

Ms Reeve said Ingeborg was heading towards Tadcaster and the car towards Sherburn-in-Elmet when the crash happened.