Driver jailed for crashing car while inhaling 'laughing gas' balloon

Driver jailed for crashing car while inhaling 'laughing gas' balloon

A motorist who crashed her car while inhaling a "laughing gas" balloon has been jailed for 20 months.

Jordanna Best, 21, lost control of her vehicle on a blind bend, drifted into the opposite carriageway and hit a van head-on in Manchester.

Prosecutors said the defendant's use of nitrous oxide - known as "hippy crack" - put herself and others at risk with "disastrous consequences".

One of her passengers in the Ford Ka suffered a fractured vertebra and injuries to her liver, while the other passenger received broken ribs.

The van driver received cuts and bruises from the collision in Manchester Road, Carrington, on the evening of March 10 this year, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

Best, of Partington, who suffered a collapsed lung in the collision, was sentenced on Tuesday for causing serious injury to her two passengers by dangerous driving, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

She was also banned from driving for 34 months and must take an extended re-test.

David Graham, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: "Jordanna Best has today been sentenced for causing serious and life-threatening injuries to her two passengers due to driving her car dangerously.

"She took a series of risks that night, putting other road users as well as her passengers at serious risk of harm with disastrous consequences.

"She has accepted driving her car whilst inhaling nitrous oxide. Not only would this have affected her ability to drive safely, it meant she had to drive with only one hand on the steering wheel, whilst the balloon she inhaled from would also have obscured her view through the windscreen.

"She overtook another car before drifting again over the solid white lines into the path of oncoming traffic, whilst on a blind bend. The van driver she collided with did not stand a chance of avoiding the collision.

"As a direct result of her reckless actions, her two passengers were seriously injured, the van driver was injured, plus she also received fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. Her actions alone were responsible for this serious collision that risked the lives of those involved.

"This case serves as an example of the consequences of dangerous driving. The CPS and police are dedicated to bringing to justice those who do not drive safely on our roads."

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