Heart-stopping moment Tesla driver high on cannabis swerves across motorway at 100mph and ploughs into back of new mother’s car as she travelled home from hospital
This is the shocking moment a London Stock Exchange IT executive driving a Tesla caused a 100mph motorway crash with a new mum while high on cannabis.
Dramatic dashcam footage shows Josselin Herjean, 51, from Hamble, Hampshire, smashing his £50,000 electric car into the back of a BMW carrying Kirsty Skinner as she returned from hospital after giving birth to her daughter.
The clip shows Herjean swinging from the center lane to the outside lane at high speed before plowing into the back of the white car, sending it into the central reserve and then into the air on the M27 in Southampton in October last year.
As the Tesla slowed after the terrifying collision, the BMW – which was carrying Ms Skinner, her partner Jamie Swinfield and her three other children aged five, three and one – careened out of control along the carriageway in a cloud of smoke.
The ‘traumatized’ family returned home after Ms. Skinner gave birth by caesarean section – and Southampton Crown Court heard that on impact she screamed ‘my babies’ and clutched her stomach.
Tesla driver Josselin Herjean was pictured outside Southampton Crown Court yesterday
Kirsty Skinner returned from hospital after giving birth to her daughter last October
A nurse who witnessed the accident told the court that Herjean showed ‘no compassion’ to the family and when she went to check on him, he was ‘throwing clothes out of his vehicle’.
The court heard at the time, Herjean was in the midst of a psychotic episode due to the stress of working in the ‘high pressure’ environment of the stock exchange.
At the hearing where the clip was shown, the successful IT risk management specialist was given a suspended prison sentence and disqualified from driving for 18 months after a judge said it was a ‘minor miracle’ no one was injured in the collision .
Adrian Fleming, prosecuting, told the court that witness Eleanor Randall, who was also driving on the M27 at the time, ‘saw a red Tesla overtake a vehicle at a very high speed – she estimated over 100mph’.
According to Ms Randall, a BMW ‘going about 70mph’ began to engage in a ‘perfectly normal overtaking manoeuvre’ towards the fourth lane of the motorway.
Mr Fleming continued: ‘What happened next was that the Tesla, still traveling at an extremely excessive speed, pulled out into lane four without warning and erratically.
1) Dramatic dashcam footage shows the moments leading up to the crash in Southampton
‘It then hit the BMW in the back. The car jerked forward when it hit the central reservation and the rear of the car went up in the air.’
Herjean crashed into the car with Jamie Swinfield, Ms Skinner – whose newborn baby was still in hospital – and their three other children.
After the collision, Ms Randall went to the Tesla where she found ‘Mr Herjean was throwing clothes from the vehicle onto the roadway’.
Ms Randall then went to the BMW where she saw a ‘female passenger’, Ms Skinner, shouting: ‘My babies’.
The prosecutor added: ‘The woman in the passenger seat was holding her stomach because she just had a caesarean section.’
Mr. Fleming checked on the mother and let her know she was unharmed.
2) The clip shows Herjean swerving from the middle lane to the outside lane at high speed
The nurse then went back to Herjean who was now ‘unpacking items from the trunk of his car’ and she reported ‘she could smell cannabis’ to him.
The court heard Herjean showed ‘no compassion’ and ‘didn’t look at the family in the BMW’.
According to the nurse, when she informed the driver he was going ‘over 100mph’ – ‘he just shrugged his shoulders’.
The court heard the family were returning from hospital after having just given birth to their baby daughter.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Swinfield said his newborn daughter ‘could have easily been orphaned’ and the impact of the accident felt like he had been ‘hit in the head’.
He added: ‘This incident has traumatized me and my family. I felt like I almost lost my family. I look at my three children when I put them to bed and get upset.’
3) The video then shows Herjean’s Tesla plowing into the back of the white BMW vehicle
Outlining the case, Mr Fleming said: ‘There is significant excessive speed when pulling out and an extremely dangerous manoeuvre.
‘(Herjean) was tested at the scene and tested negative for alcohol but positive for marijuana. Back at the police station he failed to give a blood sample.’
Grace McConnell, representing Herjean, told the court that at the time of the incident he was experiencing a psychotic episode due to the stress of work.
She told the court that Herjean worked as an IT risk manager specialist at the London Stock Exchange.
Ms McConnell added: ‘(He was working under) extremely high pressure and it was this work pressure that led to this episode in his life and the situation he found himself in last October.
“He experienced distress about who he was and where he was at that time.”
4) The impact sends the BMW into the central reservation and then airborne onto the M27
Herjean pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to provide a sample for analysis.
At sentencing for Herjean, Recorder Stefan Ramel said that Mr. Swinfield’s children and partner started crying hysterically on impact.
He added: ‘It’s a minor miracle that none of them were seriously injured in this collision you caused.
“Mr Swinfield has lost confidence in his driving and he said when he puts his three children to bed he gets upset.”
Herjean was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for one year, and disqualified from driving for 18 months.
He was also ordered to carry out 130 hours of unpaid work, 15 days of rehabilitation activity requirements and pay £425 in court costs.