‘Panic attack’ man fled scene of accident that left car a write off — (GetReading)

SSRI Ed note: Man taking antidepressant causes car crash, other driver injured, fails to stop. Arrested.
Original article no longer available


Sep 22 2006

By Antony Quarrell Maidenhead Reporter

A hit and run driver – who is said to suffer from panic attacks – fled the scene of an accident which wrote off a vehicle and left the other driver injured.

On Tuesday, Slough Magistrates Court head how Richard Salmon, 34, drove off from the scene of the crash in Maidenhead, which occurred on June 11 this year.

Salmon, of Courtfield Drive, Maidenhead, had been driving a blue Toyota Hilux pickup when it was involved in a collision with another vehicle in Oaken Grove.

Austin Jakpo, prosecuting, told the court: “After the incident he did not stop.”

He added: “The accident was so bad that the other driver’s car was written off.”

According to Mr Jakpo, the driver of the other vehicle, Salma Rafiq, suffered whiplash and a chipped tooth and had to take two weeks off from work as an agency contractor, thus losing income for that period.

Mr Jakpo explained that subsequent police enquiries had identified Salmon as the driver and that he had admitted being in an accident and failing to stop and give his details.

Lucy Gregory, defending, said that in interview Salmon had asked police to apologise on his behalf to the occupants of the other vehicle. She told the court: “He was very concerned for their welfare.”

She added that Salmon suffers from panic attacks and is also taking medication for depression.

Referring to a previous offence of being drunk in charge – dating back to 2002 – she said that Salmon had been sleeping in the vehicle.

Miss Gregory said that Salmon knew that he would lose his job if he was involved in any kind of crash and told the court: “He has subsequently lost his job and I would suggest that’s his punishment.”

Trudie Lowe, Chair of the Magistrates Bench, told Salmon that he would have to do 120 hours of unpaid community service.

She added: “I have endorsed your licence with nine penalty points you are only three points away from the 12 that will automatically take away your licence. You need to drive extremely carefully on the roads from now on.”

Salmon was also ordered to pay £43 in costs.