HEARTBREAKING statements read aloud in court by the family of a young man left with devastating injuries after a driver fell asleep at the wheel of his van portray the devastating impact of dangerous driving.

Barry Goody, 41, was jailed for 18 months after he admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving in a crash on the A12 at Langham in February.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard he told witnesses and police at the scene he suspected he had fallen asleep at the wheel of his van.

His vehicle was seen to smash into the rear of a 22-year-old’s Ford Fiesta at around 60mph.

A witness said he noted the van showed no signs of slowing before the impact, with signs warning of queues ahead due to an overturned lorry.

Read more: Dangerous driver 'fell asleep' and ploughed into stationary traffic

The 22-year-old man was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital with life-threatening injuries and placed in an induced coma.

He is still recovering months later and may never live independently again.

He told the court: “Even when I came out of hospital, in the time of Easter, I had to go back in again in a few days by ambulance, as the fluid of my brain had increased and was causing me to have stroke-like symptoms.

“I really thought my life was over at this time, I was conscious and could see all the medical staff rushing around to save my life.

“When I came home a second time I had to live with my mum, being watched 24/7, In case there were any signs of the bleed on the brain getting any worse.

“Even now, eight months later, I still have to do daily exercises, have regular appointments at hospitals as well as see physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists.

“I have CT scans every three months.

“I have to rely on my mum and stepdad to drive me to all these appointments as my driving licence was revoked.

“He basically has been able to carry on his normal life since the accident and my life will never be normal again.”

Echo: Barry GoodyBarry Goody

The victim’s mother took to the witness box to tell the court February 10, 2021, would be a date “etched in her mind forever”.

“It was the day my son lost the opportunity to live his life independently,” she said.

“He was just a normal 22-year-old, working and saving hard so he could complete the purchase of his flat in the next couple of weeks.

“To receive that phone call to say your son has been airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital and because of the extent of his injuries he may not survive the next 24 hours, is something no parent should have to go through.

“He was just driving home from work and was stationary in a line of traffic because of a previous accident, and someone just drove into the back of him and squashed his car in half while he was still inside.

“The hardest point for me, was because of Covid, I could not be there to reassure him he was going to be okay.

“They put him into a medically induced coma, as he had so many injuries that needed to give his body a heightened chance to recover.

“I was receiving phone calls from the hospital giving me updates and asking my permission to carry out procedures in an attempt to keep my son alive.

“Just when we started to think things were improving, I would get another phone call to say there had been another complication and they would have to sedate him again, as he was struggling to breathe on his own because of the internal injuries.

“You feel completely numb and unable to concentrate on everyday tasks, as you’re expecting that phone call at any moment to say ‘sorry, we’ve done all we can, he has passed away’.”

Alison Hunter, mitigating, said Goody has never denied he was responsible for causing the crash, adding her client is “a committed Christian, a good person with no previous convictions”.

She said: “There are no words that are adequate to convey either the horror of Mr Goody at the accident he caused, nor his sorrow or remorse for the injuries and suffering that were caused in that accident.”

Goody was also banned from driving for 39 months.