Teen driver ‘fortunate not to be injured or killed’

A dangerous teenage driver has been told to stay off the roads after he admitted tearing away from pursuing police at night and switching off his lights to avoid detection.

Thomas Day, 17, of Nordavatn in Lerwick drove at grossly excessive speeds of over 100mph and failed to stop for police – despite the flashing blue lights and wailing sirens of the pursuing patrol car.

The uninsured learner driver, who had no experienced driver by his side, turned off the main road leading from East Voe to Burra and crashed into a ditch.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard yesterday Day had been driving in poor conditions brought about by high wind speeds.
Officers on patrol came across Day travelling in the opposite direction at high speed. They turned around and gave chase. But Day reached speeds in excess of 100mph, with the police car struggling to catch up.

Police lost sight of Day as he approached the top of the Scord hill at Scalloway. But they were able to spot him driving along the East Voe road with his lights extinguished.

“It doesn’t need me to articulate the inherent dangers in that,” said procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie.

Day swung left up the Sundibanks road, still driving at excessive speed. But he hadn’t travelled far before he
lost control of the car and went into a ditch.

He got out of the car and immediately started shouting at police. But because of the noise of the wind they were unable to hear what he was saying.

Day co-operated with police when approached and said he took off simply because he panicked when he saw the police car.

Mr MacKenzie added it was fortunate Day was not injured or killed.

Sheriff Philip Mann ordered background reports. But he told Day it was a “very, very serious case of dangerous driving”.

“This is a case where there could have been very serious consequences, not just to yourself but to other road users you may have encountered.”

Day was ordered to appear in court again on 8th July. He was ordained to appear and disqualified in the meantime.


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