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Boozy driver’s “remarkably lucky” escape after car plunges into flooded field

Drink driver Michael Mitchell, 19, of Old Road, Chesterfield, and his passenger had a lucky escape after Mitchell crashed his BMW and plunged into a flooded field at Holymoorside.
Drink driver Michael Mitchell, 19, of Old Road, Chesterfield, and his passenger had a lucky escape after Mitchell crashed his BMW and plunged into a flooded field at Holymoorside.

A boozed-up motorist and his pal had a “remarkably lucky” escape as they fought their way out of a sunken vehicle after the driver had over-turned the BMW into a water-logged field.

Michael Mitchell, 19, of Old Road, Chesterfield, lost control and hit a wall during a misty morning on the moors on Longside Road, at Holymoorside, before the BMW crashed into the flooded field, according to a Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing.

Drink-driver Michael Mitchell, 19, of Old Road, Chesterfield, and his passenger had to fight their way out of the teenager's BMW after it plunged into a flooded field at Hollymoorside.

Drink-driver Michael Mitchell, 19, of Old Road, Chesterfield, and his passenger had to fight their way out of the teenager's BMW after it plunged into a flooded field at Hollymoorside.

Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam told the hearing on Wednesday, June 13: “Police were called to a road traffic collision on the moors and found the blue BMW submerged in a field on its roof.”

Police discovered the vehicle was registered to Mitchell and they went to his home where he admitted he had been driving, according to Mrs Haslam, and he registered 54 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

The defendant stated he had been out in earlier the evening and when he had driven the vehicle it had been misty and he had approached the junction, lost control and hit a wall before the car overturned.

Mrs Haslam added: “The car was submerged and water was coming into the vehicle but he managed to escape and he went home and showered and police attended within 30 minutes.”

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Apprentice mechanic Mitchell pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol drink-drive limit after the incident on May 26.

Defence solicitor Julia Jackson said Mitchell had consumed three or four pints and had returned home and he had been in for four or five hours when he remembered promising a friend a lift home so he returned to town and gave his friend a lift.

She added: “The weather conditions were bad, the sun was rising and there was mist in the air and it was a sharp bend and the car ended up in a pool of water where the field had flooded.

“He and his friend managed to get out and they flagged a taxi and got back home.

“Mr Mitchell intended to phone police but his mobile phone had been lost in the vehicle and he had been wet through.”

Mitchell told the court: “We both had seat belts so we weren’t injured and we both went to hospital to be checked and we were all right.

“We were under the water. It was the corner of a field that had flooded over.”

District Judge Andrew Davison described Mitchell and his friend as “remarkably lucky” and added: “The circumstances could have been dreadful if you had both been unconscious.”

He fined Mitchell £200 and ordered him to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Mitchell was also disqualified from driving for 16 months but if he completes a drink-drive rehabilitation course the ban could be reduced by 17 weeks.