Man who drove car “like a bullet” through wall of Louth home seriously injuring resident is jailed

The scene of the crash in Louth
The scene of the crash in Louth

A speeding motorist who drove his car straight through the wall of a house throwing the tenant out of her bath has been jailed for two and half years.

Kyle Rance’s Seat Leon was described as travelling “like a bullet” as he headed along a narrow lane into the town centre at Louth, with four passengers in his car

The scene of the crash in Louth

The scene of the crash in Louth

A jury at Lincoln Crown Court was told that Rance appeared to accelerate as he approached a T-junction and shot across the road and into the wall of a house.

His car went straight through the ground floor bathroom where the tenant Angela Watson,45, was having a bath.

She was thrown through the air and as she landed the wall of the bathroom collapsed on top of her.

Ms Watson suffered two broken vertebrae in her back, multiple fractures to her pelvis, a fractured hip socket, together with a collapsed lung and liver damage.

Emergency crews rushed to Kyle Rance's aid

Emergency crews rushed to Kyle Rance's aid

Rance’s four passengers were also injured with two of them being seriously hurt.

Ms Watson said “I had been lying in the bath for probably 20 minutes. Then I heard the sound of a car racing and could tell it was getting closer to me. It was going incredibly fast.

“Then I heard an explosion and I was thrown out of the bath. I didn’t know whether it was a gas explosion or what. I felt I was suspended in mid-air for a few seconds. It felt like my arms and legs were being ripped off me.

“I was propelled through the opposite wall. I went across the bathroom. I finished up where the wall had been. The wall came down on top of me. There was a deathly silence as bricks carried on hitting me. Dust just kept coming on to me. My mouth was absolutely forced open full of brick rubble. It was in my nose and my ears. I had to spit all of that out of my mouth before I could start screaming for help.

“The bath was in smithereens. There was no trace of the bath left.

“I could never imagine such a horrific thing happening. It will stay in my mind for ever.”

Ms Watson was airlifted to hospital in Coventry where she was in intensive care for a fortnight and spent a total of 13 weeks in hospital before being discharged. She continues to undergo medical treatment and two years after the incident is still unable to work.

She said “My life is a merry-go-round of hospital appointments, physiotherapy and operations. My life has changed unrecognisably and it will never be the same again.”

Martin Hurst, prosecuting, told the jury that Rance had picked up his partner and his other passengers from Louth Golf Club where they had been attending a wake.

Mr Hurst said “He set off driving like a teenager. The other people in the car say he was showing off. His driving was jerky. He floored the accelerator.

“Two of the girls in the back of the car were trying to smoke. It was such an unsteady journey they couldn’t get the cigarettes into their mouths.

“Two people estimate he was doing 60 mph in a 30 mph limit. A member of the public said he was going like a bullet.

“The Seat crashed into the wall of Ms Watson’s home. The car came all the way through the wall. It was a double skin of bricks and it smashed straight through. Commonsense dictates it was going very fast indeed.”

Mr Hurst said that Rance was breathalysed after the incident and gave a reading of just 5 mgs of alcohol per 100 mls of breath putting him well below the legal limit of 35 mgs.

Rance is alleged to have told Ms Watson that he suffered a tyre blow-out but later said his car skidded on the road surface which had been made slippy as a result of rain falling after a long dry spell.

Subsequent repairs to the house cost £30,000.

Rance ,30, of Louth, denied three charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving as a result of the incident on 27 June 2014. The jury took just two hours to convict him of all the charges.

He was jailed for two and a half years and banned from driving for five years.

Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence, said the speed at which Rance was driving made it “utterly impossible” for him to negotiate the T-junction safely.

The judge said “The consequences of your driving are enormous. Nobody will ever know for certain why you chose to drive in the way you did. It may be that you were frustrated and in a hurry but your driving created a substantial risk of danger. It was utterly avoidable.”

Rance, who had a clean licence, admitted his driving was careless but denied it was dangerous. He claimed he applied his brakes as he approached the T-junction but the tyres had no traction and his vehicle skidded into the house. Rance himself suffered injuries himself as a result of the crash including a shattered wrist.