Klaidas Keblas, 25, of no fixed address, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court for sentencing in relation to three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failing to stop at the scene of a collision and failing to report a collision.
On Monday, 19 October Keblas was found guilty of two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, following which he pleaded guilty to the charges of failing to stop at the scene of the collision and failing to report the collision.
He was sentenced as follows:
1. Causing serious Injury by dangerous driving – 56 months imprisonment x two [to be served concurrently].
2. Failing to stop at the scene of a collision – four months imprisonment [to be served consecutively].
3. Failing to report a collision – four months imprisonment [to be served concurrently].
A total of 60 months imprisonment. Keblas will not be eligible for release until 60 months have been served.
He was also disqualified from driving for 60 months [this was enhanced to 90 months to reflect the custodial sentence] and he will also be required to complete an extended re-test.
In sentencing, Her Honour Judge English commented on the fact that drinking alcohol, speed and a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre were aggravating features of this offence. The offence was further aggravated by the fact that he [Keblas] failed to stop at the scene, failed to report the collision and then attempted to flee the country.
During the week-long trial, the court heard that on Friday, 6 March at around 12.09am a collision occurred in the Northern Relief Road, Barking junction with North Street.
Officers, London Fire Brigade [LFB] and London Ambulance Service [LAS] attended.
At the scene a Grey Audi A3, driven by Keblas, had collided head on with a blue Vauxhall Zafira. Such was the force of the collision that both vehicles spun around and came to rest facing the opposite direction to which they were originally travelling.
Klaidas Keblas got out of the Audi and made off, leaving three people seriously injured at the scene.
Two male passengers, both aged 24, were sitting in the front passenger seat of the Audi, one on the other’s lap. Both sustained serious injuries.
The driver of the Vauxhall sustained critical injuries.
All three were taken by LAS to east London hospitals where they underwent varying degrees of emergency treatment.
Detectives conducted fast-time enquiries to trace Keblas at a number of addresses without success. However, from his mobile phone which was found in the Audi, officers found that he had booked a flight out of the country leaving later that same day.
Keblas was arrested on the early evening of Friday, 6 March at Luton Airport just prior to him boarding his flight to Lithuania.
He was charged the following day and remanded in custody. He later entered a plea of not guilty and was convicted by a unanimous jury on Monday, 19 October. He was further remanded for sentencing as above.
Detective Sergeant Edward Coleman of the Met’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit based at Chadwell Heath said: “The not guilty plea entered by Keblas meant that all three victims were put through a criminal trial – this truly did add insult to very serious injury.
“At the time of the collision, Keblas was driving on the wrong side of the road, and although all three victims survived their injuries, two of them continue to have treatment and are still recovering more than seven months on.
“As the victims reconcile themselves to living with the after effects of their injuries, Keblas’s cowardly actions in leaving them lying injured are something he will have time to reflect on as he serves his sentence.”