A "reckless" driver made "two exceptionally stupid and dangerous" decisions which resulted in a man suffering life-changing injuries.

Christopher Heap, 29, was caught on dashcam footage from an HGV overtaking vehicles waiting at a temporary traffic signal in Accrington Road, Burnley on January 13, 2023.

Preston Crown Court heard the lights had been red for around four seconds when Heap, driving a white Volkswagen Polo just under the speed limit of 40mph, passed through and ploughed into Ross Wallace, 31, who had stepped into the carriageway to cross the road.

Mr Wallace was flung into the air and skidded several metres along the road, while Heap stopped his car immediately and got out to try and help.

Lancashire Telegraph: Accrington Road, BurnleyAccrington Road, Burnley (Image: Google Maps)

The victim was taken to Royal Preston Hospital and was treated for catastrophic injuries, including multiple fractures, punctured lungs, and a laceration to his kidney.

He spent three weeks in the intensive care unit, initially on artificial ventilation, before being transferred to the major trauma ward on February 3.

Keira Shaw, prosecuting, said the incident happened at around 8.40am with Heap travelling along Accrington Road towards the Network 65 business park by junction 9 of the M65, having just dropped off his partner.

Roadworks were being carried out along Accrington Road at the time, but Heap said he did not know this as he did not use the road often.

He began to overtake the vehicles waiting at the temporary red light and was said to have gone through the light at 39mph, just under the road limit of 40mph.

As soon as he went past the lights, he crashed into Mr Wallace, who had been waiting to cross the road and stepped out into the opposite carriageway, seeing that the rest of the traffic had stopped at the light.

A personal statement from Mr Wallace, summarised to the court by Ms Shaw, said his mobility is now reduced in both legs and his left arm, and he struggles to eat due to his teeth being broken in the crash.

A statement from his parents, Susie and George, said the family have had to make lifelong changes to provide round-the-clock care for their son while trying to balance their own full-time jobs.

Lancashire Telegraph: Christopher HeapChristopher Heap (Image: Lancashire Police)

They said: “It’s so difficult for the rest of the family to come to terms with what’s happened to Ross.

“It’s inspiring to see his determination to get through it all with no anger or hatred for what’s happened.”

Kristian Cavanagh, defending, said Heap recognised the seriousness of what he has done and made frank admissions when interviewed by the police.

Mr Cavanagh said it was a “stupid decision” by Heap which was out of character and “not consistent with how he presents in life generally".

Heap was not under the influence of drink or drugs at the time of the crash, nor was he on his mobile phone.

Heap, of Millbank Place, Church, Accrington, pleaded guilty to one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Lancashire Telegraph: Preston Crown CourtPreston Crown Court (Image: Archive)

Sentencing, Judge Darren Preston said: “Your victim went into the carriageway to cross the road and you careered into him at some speed.

“You made two exceptionally stupid, exceptionally dangerous decisions in quick succession.

“The first was to pull out into the opposite carriageway at all and try to get past the traffic. The second was when you saw the signals and you thought the best thing to do would be to accelerate hard and try and get through.

“Your recklessness caused catastrophic injuries to Mr Wallace. He suffered severe, life-changing, physical and mental consequences because of what you did to him.

“You have ruined everything. Nothing I can do can make things better for Mr Wallace or his family.

“You carried out a quite deliberate and highly dangerous manoeuvre. The consequences of your driving could hardly have been any worse.”

Judge Preston sentenced Heap to two years and eight months in prison. He will be disqualified from driving for two years plus an extension of 16 months to reflect his time in prison, and must complete an extended retest upon his release.