‘It was a miracle they survived’: Woman jailed for ‘appalling’ hit and run in King’s Cross

Toma Bruziene. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Toma Bruziene. Picture: Metropolitan Police - Credit: Archant

A drink driver has been jailed for an “appalling” hit and run in King’s Cross, in which three American students suffered life-changing injuries after being thrown 6m down the road.

Toma Bruziene, 34, of Leytonstone, was jailed for three years and four months in Blackfriars Crown Court yesterday. She had pleaded guilty to three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and failing to stop.

Bruziene was driving a Toyota Avensis when she hit the three women, all in their 20s, as they walked back to their student accommodation in York Way just after 4am on Saturday, August 29.

Her car mounted the pavement after she lost control, uprooting a small tree and hitting the three women with such force that they were thrown 6m further down the road. She failed to stop and abandoned the car in a private car park two streets away.

She was followed by a taxi driver, who witnessed the immediate aftermath of the collision, and who attempted to detain her. Bruziene surrendered herself to Islington police the following day.

Although she could not be charged with drink-drive offences, the judge established that Bruziene’s actions by drinking and driving were a direct cause of the collision.

All three victims were students at the New York University campus in Bloomsbury. One sustained a serious head injury and another fractures to her neck. All three suffered numerous other fractures and cuts.

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Det Sgt Chris Osborne, of the Met’s serious collision investigation unit, said: “This was an appalling incident for everyone concerned. It was a miracle all three women survived, although they suffered horrendous life-changing injuries. To make matters worse, she then failed to stop and tried to conceal her car.

“The actions of the taxi driver in following her and attempting to detain her were rightly commended by the judge. We wish all three girls well in their ongoing recovery.”

A statement on behalf of the victims, issued by their legal team said: “The reckless behaviour of the defendant has had a devastating impact upon three young students but also upon the driver’s own family. No-one involved in this tragic incident has been left unscathed.

“They have all now returned to the United States to continue their education but there is no doubt that the semester in London was a far cry from that which it had been intended to be. They were unable to enjoy the experience of living in London and all that it has to offer and instead their experience was one of in-patient hospital stays, numerous medical appointments and immobility.”

Bruziene was also banned from driving for four years.