Driver jailed for ploughing into bus at 84mph in Crofton - impact sounded like ‘bomb had gone off’

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A dangerous drink-driver who ploughed head on into a bus at 84mph has been jailed for three years and four months.

Adrian Piotr Duchniak, 31, was double the drink-drive limit and had drugs in his system when his car hit the single-decker Arriva bus on Doncaster Road, Crofton, last November.

Adrian Piotr Duchniak.

Adrian Piotr Duchniak.

The crash, which sounded as though “a bomb had gone off”, left Duchniak, his two passengers and bus driver June Place horrifically injured.

His two passengers were air lifted to hospital with life-threatening injuries after suffering skull fractures, a bleed on the brain, internal injuries and numerous other fractures.

Leeds Crown Court heard today (Friday) how one remained in a coma for four weeks.

The bus driver suffered fractured ribs and broken bones in her leg and wrist. She remained in hospital for several weeks. Duchniak also suffered a fracture to his spine and arm.

A blood sample taken post-accident showed Duchniak had no less than 169mgs of alcohol in 100mls of blood. The drink-drink drive limit is just 80mgs in blood.

It also showed he had a cocktail of drugs in his system, including ecstasy and ketamine.

Prosecutor Jason Pitter told how Duchniak, of Warren Avenue, Wakefield had collided with three other vehicles just before the “catastrophic collision” with the bus at around 2pm on November 9.

The court heard how he had just overtaken a line of vehicles near Oakenshaw Kennels when he collided head on with the bus, which was carrying 11 passengers.

An investigation showed the speedometer of Duchniak’s VW Golf was displaying 84mph, which was the likely speed on impact.

Duchniak’s passengers Mateusz Pietzak and Artur Baraszewski had to be cut out of the VW Golf.

Firefighters recovered Mrs Place from under the front of the bus she was driving. The damage caused to it was estimated at £54,000.

Duchniak admitted dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and wounding Mrs Place and his two passengers.

Chris Swistak, mitigating, said his client wanted to apologise to all the victims.

Judge James Spencer, QC, passing sentence, said Duchniak’s speed had increased to 84mph and had been overtaking everything in his path when he collided head-on with the bus.

He said: “The collision was dreadful and the injuries sustained by these people - your passengers, the driver of the bus- horrific and the injuries to yourself were very serious. And the poor passengers didn’t escape either.”

The court heard the passengers suffered less serious injuries than the named victims.

Duchniak was also banned from driving for five years and faces an extended retest before being allowed to drive again.