A CARELESS driver who was behind the wheel without a full licence or insurance fled the scene after causing a crash which left a teenage girl in a wheelchair.

Darriel Rupare, 21, was set to put 18-year-old Lucy Sturgess through the pain of a trial after denying his role in a collision in Colchester last year.

Lucy was riding her motorbike in Magnolia Drive, Greenstead, on March 28 when she was involved in a crash with a Peugeot driven by Rupare.

After she was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Lucy underwent surgery to irrigate her wounds, which included an open fracture and severe damage to her foot and ankle.

A year on from the crash, Lucy still suffers with “excruciating” pain and is using crutches and a wheelchair to get around.

Echo: Lucy suffered serious injuries in the crashLucy suffered serious injuries in the crash

Rupare, of Meadow Way, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, had denied charges of driving without due care and attention, driving without insurance or a valid licence, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident to the police.

But he changed his pleas to guilty on the day of his trial at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

The charge states he performed a U-turn in the road, colliding with Lucy's motorcycle.

The offender was released on unconditional bail until a sentencing hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on July 18.

A pre-sentence report on Rupare will be prepared by the probation service.

In the aftermath of the crash, Lucy, who lives in Colchester, told the Gazette there was a chance she may not be able to walk unaided again.

Echo: Lucy was left out of pocket and on a long road to recoveryLucy was left out of pocket and on a long road to recovery

She said: “The crash left me with shards of metal and paint in my foot which surgeons removed during the first operation I had.”

A fundraising page was launched in a bid to help Lucy on her long road to recovery, with donations soon passing the £2,000 mark.

Lucy said a year on, she has had to quit her job at a pub because of the lack of strength in her foot, while she is still undergoing counselling.

“I am still in chronic excruciating pain and I have a limp,” she said.

“I still have to use crutches and the wheelchair and I still have major scarring.

“I’m still in contact with the orthopaedic team and plastic surgery team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.”