Jail for second chance driver

3/2/09 news/Malton RTA between West knapton and Yedingham on the B1258 as a Vauxhall Astra is hit by a train on the level crossing outside the malt factory.. 090625b
3/2/09 news/Malton RTA between West knapton and Yedingham on the B1258 as a Vauxhall Astra is hit by a train on the level crossing outside the malt factory.. 090625b
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A man who escaped a near-death collision when he drove his car into a moving train has been jailed after appearing in court for a second driving offence.

Richard Tierney, 24, of Snainton, failed to learn his lesson despite admitting himself he was lucky to be alive following an accident four years ago.

090632a news'Lucky escape Richard Tierney realises his good fortune after his car was struck by a train at Knapton yesterday...

090632a news'Lucky escape Richard Tierney realises his good fortune after his car was struck by a train at Knapton yesterday...

He was jailed on Monday for admitted charges of dangerous driving and intending to pervert the course of justice.

Tierney hit the headlines four years ago when he smashed through the barriers on a level crossing at West Knapton, on the B1258, and hit a train travelling at 60mph.

Despite unbelievably escaping from the mangled wreck of his car with minor injuries, Tierney was back at court this week where he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and doing an act intending to pervert the course of justice after leading police on a high-speed chase for 20 minutes.

The court heard that in the early hours of March 13 this year Tierney, who had been at a birthday party and “had a bit to drink”, was spotted by a police car as he attempted to go the wrong way through a set of temporary traffic lights.

During the chase Tierney travelled at speeds of up to 60mph in a built-up area, ran through give way signs, entered a dual carriageway the wrong way and repeatedly turned of his lights in a bid to evade the police.

After abandoning his car in a ploughed field he then contacted police the next day and told them it had been stolen from outside a pub.

When he attended Scarborough police station to inquire about getting his car back he was recognised by the officers who had pursued them and arrested.

In interview he maintained that he has no knowledge of the pursuit.

Jailing Tierney for five months at York Crown Court on Monday, Judge Roger Ibbotson said: “Your conduct put at risk the police officers attempting to apprehend you.”

He said he was concerned to see that Tierney had an earlier offence for driving without due care and attention and also made him subject to a 12-month driving ban.

For Tierney’s previous offence, which left £150,000 worth of damage to the train and barriers, the jockey was fined £350 and had six points placed on his licence.

On that occasion the court heard he had been driving directly into the sun when he hit the crossing at West Knapton, North Yorks.

The barriers were down, lights were flashing and the warning bells were ringing when Tierney drove his Vauxhall Astra on to the level crossing.

Dazzled by the sun and deafened by his car radio, he had not seen the crossing until too late, and despite slamming on his brakes and trying to swerve round the back of the train, he crashed into it and the barriers.

The 100-ton train had a driver and 25 passengers travelling on it, luckily no-one was harmed.

Speaking to the Scarborough Evening News just 24 hours after the collision in 2009 Tierney said: “As I approached the crossing I was completely blinded. I steered to the side to avoid the train but the rear caught me. When I saw the state of the car I realised how lucky I’ld been.”