Police chase driver crashed into cement mixer

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An uninsured motorist drove on the wrong side of the road before crashing into a cement mixer truck during a high speed police chase.

Gareth Whyte, 33, drove at 50mph on the wrong side of the road in the moments leading up to the crash.

He then ran off into woods in a bid to escape police.

Leeds Crown Court heard on Monday that Whyte saw police officers doing spot checks near Chain Bar roundabout on July 26.

Prosecutor Shamaila Qureshi said he sped off towards the motorway to avoid being followed.

He stopped at traffic lights where the M606 joins Chain Bar roundabout.

The court heard he seemed to be agitated and was checking his rear view mirror.

Police pulled up alongside him and asked him to stop – but he accelerated quickly and went across three lanes in one movement, narrowly missing a line of traffic.

He then swerved to avoid colliding with traffic at a standstill at the roundabout and joined Whitehall Road, driving towards Birkenshaw.

Ms Qureshi said: “Traffic was waiting. He went through the junction with Stubbs Beck Lane at 50mph on the wrong side of the road.”

The court heard a cement mixer was approaching and Whyte had to break very sharply. The car skidded and crashed into the front of the mixer. He jumped out and ran off through a wood and a beck.

Ms Qureshi said: “He resisted and his head struck a wall as he was arrested.

“He said he thought he had been barred for driving and was uninsured.”

She said Whyte told police the car belonged to a friend, he was in the process of buying it, and he panicked when he saw the officers.

She said: “He said it was a moment of stupidity and he accepted his driving was dangerous.”

Whyte, of Brooklyn Road, Cleckheaton, admitted dangerous driving, driving without a licence and insurance and failing to surrender to bail at an earlier hearing.

Nicoleta Alistari, mitigating, said the day of the offence was the first time Whyte had driven since he thought he had been banned.

“He was driving safely until he saw the police,” she said.

“He knows he was extremely lucky that nobody including himself was injured. He very much regrets his very stupid and rash reaction.”

She said Whyte had a drug problem he was trying to get under control and had not committed an offence for eight years.

The case was adjourned until December 16 when Whyte will be sentenced.