A stoned father who blamed ‘imaginary friend’ for crashing his van on motorway after being banned from driving has been jailed.
Morgan Tinpeloo fell asleep at the wheel of his Vauxhall Astra and ploughed into a red transporter van on the M25 between Godstone and Sevenoaks.
Following the accident, the 23-year-old builder began pacing up and down the hard shoulder, telling witnesses he was looking for ‘Jamie’ and shouting ‘Where’s my mate? Where has he gone?’ But others drivers had spotted him slumped over the wheel moments before the crash and were able to confirm that he had been travelling alone.
During his trial at Maidstone Crown Court, Prosecutor James Ross said Mr Tinpeloo had been spotted driving dangerously moments before the accident occurred last October at 7:45am.
A witness told police: “I was travelling in the left lane when my attention was drawn to a black Vauxhall Astra with only one person in the car.
“I noticed him swerve from the middle lane into a lorry in the left lane; thereby clipping his own wing mirror.
“He then swerved off into the middle lane and drove off.
“I could clearly see the driver slumped over the driver’s side window as if he was asleep.
“He then drove off at speed.”
The motorist then carried on and saw the same Astra had crashed into a red transporter vehicle a little further down the motorway.
Mr Ross said: “Initially Mr Tinpeloo was out of his vehicle and seemed to be inventing a fake driver on which he could blame the incident.”
Weeks earlier, Mr Tinpeloo had received a suspended jail sentence for other motoring offences.
The driver of the transporter told police: “I was driving at 70mph. All of a sudden I felt a really big thud from the back and I was thrown out of my seat towards the steering wheel.
“I momentarily lost control of my vehicle. I remember a very loud bang. After stopping, I looked into my mirror and I could see a ball of smoke.”
Mr Tinpeloo was jailed for eight months after admitting driving while disqualified, driving under the influence of cannabis and causing criminal damage to property in Gravesend.
He was also banned from driving for 22-months.
Judge Julian Smith said: “It was incredibly fortuitous that no-one was seriously injured. These are grave offences but the consequences could have been worse.”
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