Good Motoring test car smashed by a young drink-driver

Posted on December 12th, 2012 by James Luckhurst

Good Motoring test car smashed by a young drink-driverAndy Turner is a member of Good Motoring’s team of road test journalists. Last week he was fortunate to take delivery – for seven days – of a very smart C-class Mercedes Benz. Bright red, luxurious and very refined. And so it should be for £32,000. He’ll be writing all about it in the next edition of Good Motoring magazine.

It’s usual for motoring journalists to give these cars back at the end of the agreed loan period. But Andy’s Mercedes will not be going back onto the press fleet. In fact, it will never be driven again. It has been written off in a late-night crash on Saturday night, along with the car parked in front of it.

I was the one to break the bad news to Andy, whose house is set back from the road. Driving past on Sunday morning, I noticed – with horror – that the Mercedes’s rear had been smashed in completely, and that it had been pushed into the rear of a Mini Cooper parked around five feet in front of it at the side of the road. A ‘police aware’ sticker had been slapped onto its windscreen.

Having safely delivered my six-year-old to rugby training, I called Andy, who at first did not believe what I was telling him. Moments later, on inspecting the Mercedes, he called me back, shocked and mystified. A ‘crime’ number had been left with the police sticker, so he called Thames Valley Police to find out more. He was informed that, at 0130 that morning, a young female driver on her way out of Henley-upon-Thames, had crashed into the rear of the Mercedes, pushing it forward into the next car in line (bear in mind that the Mercedes had been in ‘Park’ with the brake on, so consider the speed the girl would have needed to exert that much force on the stationary Mercedes).  We later checked and found no skid marks on the road, suggesting that she had not even attempted to slow down before piling into the back of the Mercedes. Andy’s press car was a write-off, the Mini Cooper was also a write-off, and the girl had hit two other cars parked in the same row. She then spun out of control and ended up against a wall on the other side of the road, approximately 60 yards further on. When police arrived, she was breathalysed and found to be over the limit (at this stage we don’t know by how much), so she was arrested.

That’s all we know at the moment. It will be interesting to follow the case when it comes to court (and that’s likely to be within a matter of days). Bearing in mind the damage this girl did, and the likely manner of her driving (never mind the speed – it was a 30mph zone), and to report again shortly on the consequences. We can only be grateful that no one else was injured or killed in the collision, brought about entirely as a result of one young woman’s selfishness. Andy’s only comment so far has been to express hope that the court will take a very lean view of this, a sentiment we know will be shared by Mercedes Benz, by the other people inconvenienced by this crazy act of driving, and by anyone with a responsible attitude to road safety.