A BUILDER caused a head-on crash after driving on the wrong side of the road in Herefordshire.

Damian Czerniakowski admitted one count of dangerous driving when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford.

Czerniakowski had been behind the wheel of a Vauxhall Astra on the wrong side of the road when he crashed head-on with another car on the A438 at the Trumpet crossroads at 7.30pm on January 10, prosecutor Eleanor Peart said.

The court heard the other driver had been travelling at around 50 miles per hour when she had seen headlights coming towards her on both sides of the road.

"She braked as hard as she could and he drove right into her head-on," Miss Peart said.

"Her car was forced upwards into the air and landed at a 90 degree angle."

The victim was taken to hospital with injuries including a bruised sternum, chest pain, and stiffness in her neck.

Witnesses told police that Czerniakowski had gone the wrong way around a set of bollards and ended up on the wrong side of the road before the crash.

In police interview, Czerniakowski said he had owned the car for a month and had been driving it to Hereford. He said he had turned left and driven 100 metres before the crash, only realising he was on the wrong side of the road when he crashed.

The builder told officers that he is from Poland and that he was used to driving on the other side of the road there.


Chris Read, for Czerniakowski, said the 28-year-old had driven from Gloucester without incident until the crash, and that he had only recently bought a car despite having spent two or three years living in the UK.

"He had a lapse of concentration, which is very easily done," Mr Read said.

"They both braked but the crash was inevitable. There was nowhere that anybody could go."

Czerniakowski, of High Street, Gloucester, was handed a 12-month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work and disqualified from driving for 12 months. He must also pay costs of £185 and a £95 victim surcharge.

Want to stay up to date with all the latest Herefordshire court and crime news? Click here to join our Hereford Times Court and Crime group on Facebook or click here to sign up for our weekly court and crime email newsletter.