A TEENAGE driver left in a coma after his car ended up on top of another vehicle when he was catapulted through the air following a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre has escaped an immediate jail sentence.

Cole Lewis is lucky to be alive after he caused the crash in Newport whilst he had ketamine in his system, the city’s crown court heard.

The 19-year-old was thrown through the window of the hire car he was driving and spent four days in the coma and suffered a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain.

Judge Nicola Jones said it was a “miracle” no-one else was also seriously injured in the smash on Queen’s Hill last summer.

Lewis, who was 18 at the time of the collision and doesn’t have a driving licence, appeared for sentence after he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on the afternoon of Saturday, June 16, 2018.

Prosecutor Alison O’Shea said the defendant was spotted at the wheel of the car “hanging out of the driver side window, gesticulating to another driver”.

She told how Lewis, of Sorrel Drive, Newport, then tried to overtake the vehicle in the built up area which has a 30mph speed limit as a Land Rover approached.

Mrs O’Shea said: “The defendant lost control and his vehicle spun 180 degrees and then rolled over. It landed on top of another car, perched on top of a Suzuki.

“He was ejected from the window and sustained serious injuries. He was, fortunately, the only person injured.”

The court heard how Lewis was found to have three times the legal limit of the horse tranquiliser ketamine in his system.

Mrs O’Shea read out a victim impact statement from the Suzuki driver, whose vehicle had been written off, who revealed how he now felt a “nervous wreck” behind the wheel and had suffered psychological harm.

The court heard how the defendant had a previous conviction for supplying heroin in 2017.

Jeffrey Jones, mitigating, said his client had “shot out of the car in mid-air” and that the vehicle he had been driving “catapulted after hitting a kerb and rolled three times and ended up on top of the other car”.

His barrister said Lewis had suffered life-threatening injuries and had been in a coma for four days before pulling through.

Judge Jones said: “It is lucky for him he is not dead. It was a miracle no-one else was injured.”

The court heard that the unemployed Lewis, during his pre-sentence Probation Service report, expressed “regret and remorse” and was in tears when the prospect of custody was discussed.

She told the defendant he was capable of being rehabilitated so she jailed him for 16 months, suspended for 18 months.

Lewis must also carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and undertake a rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was banned from driving for two years ordered to pay £340 prosecution costs and a £140 victim surcharge.