A drink driver has been jailed for three years after causing a 70mph head-on crash with a taxi full of Hogmanay revellers.
Kamil Patora had been drinking on December 31 before getting behind the wheel while more than three times the limit, in the early hours of January 1 this year, to visit a friend.
The 28-year-old hit a traffic island leaving bollards strewn across the road before he “failed to negotiate the bend” close to the Queen Elizabeth Bridge on Riverside Drive at around 4am.
Patora swerved into oncoming traffic and smashed head-on into a taxi.
Students Lloyd Jack, Ruairi Gray, Mike Everett and Chris Dick had been celebrating New Year and were taking the taxi to a party.
Lloyd, who was 21 at the time, woke up trapped in the vehicle with a fractured spine. He subsequently spent eight weeks in a back brace.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard Lloyd had received cognitive behavioural therapy due to flashbacks from the incident.
The taxi driver was also seriously injured. He was said to still experience some foot pain and had to take at least a month off work. His vehicle was also written-off.
Patora pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by driving dangerously and to driving under the influence of alcohol.
Fiscal depute Stephanie Ross said Patora was estimated to have been travelling at around 70mph.
She added: “The taxi was pushed around 40 feet back.”
It was said police officers at the scene found that Patora “appeared very drowsy” and was slurring his words.
They noted a 70cl bottle of vodka in the passenger footwell with less than a quarter remaining.
When Patora was breathalysed he was found to have 74 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
The legal limit is 22mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
Ms Ross added that Patora told officers: “It was never my intention to harm anyone.”
David Sutherland, Patora’s solicitor, said his client and his girlfriend had been at a Hogmanay party before returning home, and she had gone to bed.
Mr Sutherland said: “He continued drinking and listened to music, and decided to go and see one of his friends. He has limited recollection of events.”
He added: “He will have to live with the consequences of his driving for the rest of his life. He’s expressed regret and remorse for his conduct.”
Sheriff Graham Buchanan told Patora: “You accept, correctly, that these offences are of such seriousness that only a custodial sentence can be imposed.”
He sentenced Patora, whose address was given in court papers as Hollybank Place, Aberdeen, to three years in prison and disqualified him from driving for six years.