A 16-YEAR-OLD car passenger suffered life-changing injuries when he became ‘airborne’ after the driver lost control.

Blackburn magistrates heard neither passenger Charlie Potter or driver Jack James Butterworth, were wearing seatbelts when the crash happened on the moors from Rivington towards Belmont Charlie was thrown out of the car as it span through the air and ended up underneath the vehicle.

He stopped breathing at the scene and spent several months in intensive care. But even six months after the incident he is still unable to walk, talk or react to things.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said: “It will be a long recovery if he recovers at all.”

Butterworth, 19, of Hazle-mere, Kearsley, Bolton, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention and with insufficient tread on one tyre.

He was fined £110 with £110 costs and his licence endorsed with eight penalty points.

The chairman of the magistrates said: “This was a very serious accident with very serious consequences and no doubt you will live with this for the rest of your life.”

Miss Allan said Potter was driving his mum’s Citroen C2 towards Belmont at about 11 pm on a road with many bends. He lost control and the vehicle took off before landing in a field on its roof.

“Neither the driver or the passenger were wearing seat belts and the passenger was ejected from the vehicle,” said Miss Allan.

“The car came to rest on top of him and he was pinned underneath.”

Butterworth ran to get help and people lifted the car off Charlie.

Miss Allan said an accident investigator had concluded the deficient tyre did not contribute to the accident. It was also accepted that Butterworth had not been breaking the speed limit.

Michelle Brown, defending, said the case provided a salutary lesson about the need for proper care when driving and the need for wearing seat belts.

She said Charlie was a long-standing friend of her client.

“He says they were like brothers and he has been devastated by what has happened,” said Miss Brown. “The court has to impose punishment but he is already being punished.

“He is aware of the injuries to his friend and that the prognosis of a recovery is uncertain. He will have to live with that for the rest of his life.”