PARENTS

Teacher's Ugg Boots Caused Head-On Car Crash

15/10/2012 12:46 | Updated 22 May 2015
Teacher's Ugg boots caused head-on car crashMEN

An assistant headteacher has been banned from driving for four months after her Ugg boots caused her foot to become trapped under her brake pedal, resulting in a head-on car crash.

Vera Baxter, assistant head at Stretford High in Manchester, said she thought she was going to die when her Volkswagen Golf smashed into a Mercedes after careering on to the wrong side of the carriageway in Longsight.

It was revealed in court that just minutes before the collision, police officers in a patrol car had swerved out of the way of Baxter's car as she battled to free her Ugg 'Cardy' encased foot from the pedal.

The teacher crawled free from her wrecked vehicle after tearing the boot from the pedal. She had hospital treatment for cracked ribs and internal bruising, while the driver of the Mercedes, Jason Hoang, 33, from Cheshire, escaped with whiplash.

Ms Baxter was arrested and charged with dangerous driving but walked free after admitting the charge at Manchester Crown Court.

Banning her for four months and issuing a £350 fine, Judge Martin Steiger QC accepted that the material between the buttons of her boots had become trapped on the brake pedal, but told her she bore the responsibility.

"It was the defendant's choice of footwear that made her unable to control the vehicle when the crisis arose," he said.

Ms Baxter told the court how she lost control of the car as she headed back home around midnight after visiting a friend.

"My Ugg boot got trapped at the traffic lights," she told the Manchester Evening News. "I suppose it was a freak accident - as I put my boot across the prong of the pedal it caught in the seams. I attempted to free it with my left hand and then swerved to the right to avoid going into the back of vehicles in front of me. There seemed to be more space on the right-hand side to avoid oncoming traffic.

"I can't tell you how terrifying it was. When the crash happened the airbags came out, I smashed my head on the steering wheel. I could smell horrible petrol smells, I thought the car was going to catch fire, I thought I was going to die."

Ms Baxter added that she had 'had the boots for a year' and that they were her first pair of Uggs.

"It's a freak risk but I keep a pair of trainers in the car now," she said.

A survey by the AA found that 27 per cent of respondents had experienced problems driving because of their footwear.

More:

Mums
Suggest a correction