A teenager lost control of his car and caused a crash on the Snake Pass which left two of his friends with serious brain injuries, a court heard.
Christy McCorry had only been driving for a week when he crashed his mum’s Ford Fiesta head-on into a tree in Bamford at about 10.30am on April 16.
The 18-year-old, of Hathersage, was described as “inexperienced” and not “reckless” by magistrates after the car careered off the carriageway of the A57 near Hagg Farm, ending up on the embankment 40 metres below.
Rear seat passengers Ashley Hawkins and Richie Morgan were severely injured in the incident and were put in medically-induced comas.
Prosecutor Jennifer Fitzgerald said Mr Morgan suffered a traumatic brain injury, cracked ribs, a punctured lung, pneumonia and double vision due to the accident, spending more than 40 days in hospital.
She added Mr Hawkins, who remained in hospital until July, also suffered a brain injury and a punctured lung.
When he was in a coma, his mother was told by medical staff at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield that there was a significant chance he could be a “permanent invalid”.
The court heard both men were recovering and remained friends with McCorry, who admitted driving without due care and attention at High Peak Magistrates’ Court on Monday. Police confirmed he had not broken the 50 miles per hour speed limit and he had not been drinking.
When interviewed McCorry said when approaching the right-hand bend, he was travelling in fourth gear and must have “understeered”.
Berihan Abbas, defending, said her client was “incredibly sorry” about what had happened and that he was a “fine and outstanding man”.
Quoting his employers, Christine and Robert Simpson, who own the Rose Cottage Cafe in Castleton where McCorry works part-time, she said he was also “reliable”, “well respected” and “unassuming”. She said he hadn’t driven since the incident and it had taken him a long time to socialise again.
Chairman of the Bench Gerry Tootell described the event as “tragic” for the parties concerned, saying: “It was not a case of you being reckless but of being young and inexperienced.”
McCorry was fined £225, ordered to pay £35 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. He was also given seven points on his licence and he will have to retake his test.