Teen driver jailed after hitting three-year-old

A teenage driver has been jailed after hitting a toddler with such force he was thrown 17 metres across a Leigh car park.

Greater Manchester Police pursued a stolen van on 30 October. During the brief pursuit, the 16-year-old driver lost control of the van at a mini roundabout, at the junction of Leigh Road and Wigan Road.

The van then mounted the pavement and hit three-year-old Leo Durrington. Instead of stopping, the teenager drove off along Wigan Road.

The toddler suffered multiple extensive injuries and was rushed to hospital in a critical condition.

The driver was sentenced to one year in a Young Offenders’ Institute at Wigan Youth Court after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and failing to stop. He also admitted handling stolen goods, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

His 15-year-old friend was handed a 12-month referral order for allowing himself to be in the stolen van.

Police Sergeant Lee Westhead of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “The devastation caused is all too apparent. Leo’s family has been left distraught by what happened that day and I am glad that we were able to identify these teenagers so quickly.

“They showed no regard for anyone other than themselves. They left Leo lying in the road without a seconds thought.

“Thankfully the prompt medical attention given to Leo at the scene and the incredible treatment from the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff at Manchester Children’s Hospital, Leo is now recovering in hospital with his devoted family by his bedside.

“On behalf of Leo’s family I’d like to thank the community for their support and well wishes since this incident and the thoughts of everyone at GMP are very much with them as he recovers in hospital.”

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