Drink-driver left two pedestrians and a police officer with life-changing injuries

Karolina Serafin’s victims left suicidal and permanently disabled by horrendous crash

Tim Wyatt
Tuesday 09 November 2021 15:26
<p>Karolina Serafin suffered minor facial injuries in the crash which left three pedestrians severely hurt</p>

Karolina Serafin suffered minor facial injuries in the crash which left three pedestrians severely hurt

A drink-driver who was double the limit when she ploughed off the road causing life-changing injuries to three pedestrians has been jailed.

Karolina Serafin had been drinking vodka shots all evening on 11 July this year when she began driving her Renault Megane in the early hours of the morning.

The 25-year-old mounted the pavement shortly before 1.25am in Wakefield and crashed into three people, crushing them against a parked police van.

Two of the victims suffered such severe injuries they had to be resuscitated at the scene and both lost a leg.

The third, a police officer who was responding to an earlier incident, also was rushed to hospital with serious leg injuries but surgeons managed to avoid amputation in his case.

Serafin, from Workshop in Nottinghamshire, had earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing and was jailed at Leeds Crown Court for three years and eight months.

Andrew Dallas, prosecuting, told the court Serafin had spent the evening at a party in Wakefield, drinking neat vodka.

Witnesses at the gathering described her as unsteady on her feet and slurring her words when she got into an argument with the host, got into her car and drove away.

CCTV footage showed her veering into the kerb as she drove through Wakefield, reaching about 38mph in a 30 zone.

She then mounted the pavement and slammed into the three victims, pinning them against a parked police van which had arrived earlier to reports of a disturbance at a nearby pub.

Chilling body camera footage taken from the police officer was shown to the court at the moment the Megane collided with them, followed by screams.

A breathalyser test taken four hours later showed Serafin was still two times over the legal alcohol limit.

The court hear harrowing witness impact statements from her three victims, who spoke of their horror at waking up in hospital to discover they had had legs amputated.

The man injured said he had suffered depression and even considered suicide since the crash, while the woman who also lost her leg has been unable to look after her children because her injuries are so severe.

The police officer is still unable to walk properly and does not know if he will ever be able to return to active duty.

He said: "Three people’s lives have been ruined as a result of this event."

Serafin’s defence counsel, Edel Speirits, said: "She wishes to express her regret and remorse for her actions that night. Sadly, however much she would like to turn the clock back, she can’t.

"She accepts the full impact she has caused physically and emotionally to all three victims."

Judge Robin Mairs told her the incident had forever changes the lives of the three victims in “the most cruel and permanent way”.

"It was blindingly obvious that you we unfit to drive even in your condition. You showed an utter and callous disregard for the safety of anyone else on the roads that evening.

“Given what you have done to their lives, there is no sentence that will compensate for the pain you have caused.”

The 44-month sentence he handed down was the maximum available, after mandatory reductions as a result of her guilty pleas. Serafina was also barred from driving for seven years and 10 months.

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