A SPEEDING Quarry Bank driver who sent two pedestrians flying 50ft into the air when he ploughed into them as they crossed the road has been locked up for two years.

Judge Simon Ward told 22-year-old Ahsa Mehmood the shocking incident could have been avoided if he had been paying more attention and driving within the speed limit.

He said Mehmood clearly felt it was up to Stuart Knowles, aged 49, and 54-year-old Sharon Homer to get out of the way of his Vauxhall Astra as he drove along Rowley Regis High Street.

The couple were more than half way across the road and they made a desperate bid to get out of the way of the car but they were "scooped" up by the vehicle and tossed into the air.

Mr Knowles suffered multiple skull fractures and bleeding to the brain, injuries to his spine and a badly broken left leg, said Gareth Walters, prosecuting.

He was now almost totally blind in one eye and he was continuing to receive treatment for his injuries, he told Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Miss Homer sustained a fractured pelvis together with a number of broken ribs and a back injury. She also had a bleed on the brain but there was no underlying damage.

They were both detained in hospital for some time and they continued to suffer physically and psychologically from their injuries, added Mr Walters.

In a victim impact statement, Miss Homer later told police officers that they bore no malice towards the driver and they were both just thankful to still be alive.

She said they wanted justice done to give them closure and the end of the case would mean they could carry on with the rest of their lives.

Mehmood, of Coppice Lane, admitted causing them both serious injury by dangerous driving and he was further disqualified from driving for two years – the ban to begin on his release from custody.

The court was told Mehmood did not stop immediately after the accident, but he returned to the scene soon afterwards to give his personal details to police officers.

Mehmood, a pizza shop manager, had been driving at 50mph in a 30mph limit and he was still travelling between 27mph and 34mph when he struck the pair as they crossed the road.

Traffic lights controlling the crossing were in favour of oncoming traffic and Mehmood braked thinking he would be able to get past them.

“He saw them but he continued without taking evasive action,” said Ekwall Tiwana, defending.

“He does not blame the unfortunate victims who were crossing the road when the lights were on green. He knows he is responsible for what happened.”

Police Constable Damian Gibson, from the regional Collision Investigation Unit, who investigated the incident, said: “This highlights the fact care and consideration should be given at all times in obeying the speed limits.

“Driving at excessive speeds in built up areas even when drivers think it is quiet and the roads are empty, is very dangerous.

“This was an avoidable collision had Mr Mehmood been driving within the speed limit.”