Hit-and-run driver who crashed into hero mother who was thrown into the air ‘like a ragdoll’ but managed to push her 11-month-old daughter’s pram out the way is jailed for three years and eight months
- Becky Sharp, 36, went into an eight week come after being hit by Dale Clark, 38
- Her daughter was unharmed however after Becky shoved her pushchair away
A hit and run driver who crashed into a mother as she pushed her baby’s pram out of the way has today been jailed.
Becky Sharp, 36, was crossing the road to take her 11-month-old daughter to a play park during the Easter holidays earlier this year when Dale Clark, 38, crashed into her throwing her into the air ‘like a ragdoll’.
Her daughter was miraculously unharmed in the incident after Becky managed to shove the pushchair out of the way and save her from any danger.
The mother-of-three, came out of an eight week coma in July but she still has a long way to go with her rehabilitation journey after suffering serious brain injuries and multiple fractures, Bournemouth Crown Court heard today.
Mr Clark, a scaffolder from New Milton, Hampshire, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failing to stop at an accident and drink driving. He was sentenced to jail for three years and eight months.
A hit and run driver who crashed into hero mother Becky Sharp (pictured), 36, as she pushed her baby’s pram out of the way has today been jailed
Becky (pictured today at Bournemouth Crown Court) was crossing the road to take her 11-month-old daughter to a play park when Dale Clark, 38, crashed into her throwing her into the air ‘like a ragdoll’
Mr Clark (pictured), a scaffolder from New Milton, Hampshire, was today sentenced to jail for three years and eight months
Prosecuting, Andy Houston said Clark had ‘girls and drugs on his mind’ when he struck Mrs Sharp at 9am on Redhill Avenue, Bournemouth, on April 11.
The day before the accident he had been staying at an inn after a falling out with his grandparents, who he lived with.
READ MORE: Hit-and-run driver who smashed into mother Becky Sharp as she pushed her baby’s pram to safety admits he was drunk behind the wheel – as she remains in hospital five months on
The cleaners found two empty litre bottles of vodka and his phone records showed he had been contacting his drug dealers at 7.30 that morning.
He travelled to Bournemouth and was using his phone as a sat nav in his lap and driving in excess of 40mph in the 30mph road.
Clark was in the right hand lane when he suddenly veered across to the left, where Mrs Sharp and her daughter were crossing.
Mr Houston said: ‘The driver behind described it as he ‘shot across and accelerated hard’.
‘Mrs Sharp heroically pushed away the buggy to save the child. She was projected about the length of a cricket pitch in the air, thrown like a ragdoll.
‘She landed face down with blood around her nose, struggling to breathe.’
Mrs Sharp was given a blood transfusion at the roadside and airlifted to Southampton hospital, arriving in a vegetative state.
She had a severe traumatic brain injury, fracture to the skull, ribs, pelvis and lower left leg and a lacerated spleen.
Becky’s husband Dan said his family’s lives had changed forever and Clark had shown no compassion when he left Becky for dead in the street.
He described the difficulty of dealing with his children’s ‘pain and confusion’ that their mother was not there and how much she had missed out on while recovering in hospital.
Their three daughters are aged eight, six and one.
The hero mother (pictured with her husband Dan) suffered severe head injuries in the incident
Becky came out of an eight week coma in July but she still has a long way to go with her rehabilitation journey
Becky’s (pictured) husband Dan said his family’s lives had changed forever and Clark had shown no compassion when he left Becky for dead in the street
He said: ‘Thankfully, our 11-month-old daughter was left unhurt thanks to Becky’s instincts to save her life in that moment.
‘But the lives of Becky, our daughters and our family and friends were changed forever when Dale Clark made the decision to leave her for dead in the street.
‘She has missed our daughter’s first birthday, first tooth and first steps – such precious times all stolen by Dale Clark.
‘The whole period feels like a lifetime and I still don’t know if I will be able to rebuild our life together.’
Mrs Sharp has ongoing cognitive issues and problems with her memory, suffers from fatigue and has physical complications from her leg fracture that mean she will suffer ongoing pain.
Her father Alan Higgin described Becky as ‘bright, vivacious, kind and gentle’. He described the months following the accident as ‘the worst time in our family’s lives’ and an ‘all-consuming, numbing nightmare of worry’.
He said: ‘The whole family are innocent victims of this callous and entirely avoidable accident.’
The court heard a police officer had called Clark at 2.30pm and he immediately asked if the pedestrian was still alive and said he ‘couldn’t deal with it’.
His phone records also showed he had googled ‘hit and run Bournemouth’ that afternoon.
Clark was soon arrested and underwent a breath test at 4.22pm when he gave a reading of 46mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
The scene on Redhill Avenue, Bournemouth, Dorset, after Becky washit by Dale Clark
The pram was also thrown into the air, but the baby was not harmed and taken to hospital as a precaution
When interviewed he told police he had consumed vodka and £210 worth of cocaine over the two days before the accident.
He said he had ‘wiped her out’ and admitted possibly being over the speed limit but said ‘she literally stepped out of f***ing nowhere’.
Clark said when he saw her lying on the ground he ‘went into panic mode, shit myself and ran away’.
Addressing Clark, Judge William Mousley said: ‘You quite clearly were not looking where you were going and you hit Rebecca Sharp. Very lucky and miraculously she had pushed the pushchair ahead of her so you did not collide with her youngest child.
‘The overall picture is that her life has been changed seriously forever. The impact on her and her family has been monumental.’
He said some may think the sentence is insufficient but he is limited by the law guidelines. He sentenced Clark to three years and eight months in prison and said he would be disqualified from driving for six years when released.
Speaking afterwards, Mrs Sharp said she was relieved the case was finished and felt she needed to be in court for the sentencing.
She said: ‘I have no memory of the accident so it was good to hear from the barristers what happened.
‘My message to anyone who thinks about drinking or taking drugs and driving is never do it, it’s not good for anyone.
‘My life has been turned upside down because of it and his (Clark) life has been turned upside down. The outcome is never good.’
Dan Sharp, his friend and a brother-in-law are running the London Marathon to raise funds for Brain Research UK.
You can donate at https://2024tcslondonmarathon.enthuse.com/pf/ross-macleod
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