A WOMAN driver who left a cyclist fighting for his life after ploughing into him had been taking cocaine before the crash.

Mother-of-five Kelly Sumner's Nissan Micra struck 57-year old Stephen Derbyshire on Lever Park Avenue, Horwich, on the afternoon of June 10.

She stood looking straight ahead in the dock at Bolton Crown Court and pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, having no insurance and driving with more than the specified level of Benzoylecgonine in her system.

Members of Mr Derbyshire’s family held hands in the public gallery as they heard Judge Graeme Smith adjourn sentencing until January 11.

“The starting point will inevitably be a custodial sentence,” the judge told Sumner.

“I do not shy away from the fact that a custodial sentence is a very really possibility given the circumstances of this case.”

Mr Derbyshire was left fighting for his life after the Sunday afternoon collision on Lever Park Avenue, a route popular with cyclists enjoying a scenic ride.

Sumner’s light blue Nissan was involved in the collision and Mr Derbyshire was so badly hurt that an air ambulance was scrambled to fly him to the Royal Preston Hospital.

Sumner, aged 35, of Wright Street, Chorley, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and driving whilst unfit through drink and drugs.

At the time PC Philip Shaw, from Greater Manchester Police’s serious collision investiagtion unit said: “This is a heartbreaking incident. The man was out on his bike, enjoying the great weather — what has happened is devastating.”

Judge Smith said that, before sentencing Sumner, he wanted an up-to-date medical report on his condition.

Richard Littler, defending, said: “The defendant is a woman of good character and is a single mother of five children. She completely accepts the prosecution case against her.”

He added that, although it cannot compare with the suffering of the victim, his family and friends, Sumner has been affected by the incident.

Since then she has sought help from a drug and drink rehabilitation team and is having counselling for her mental health.

Sumner was released on bail until her sentencing, but Judge Smith banned her from driving.

The length of the ban will be determined at her sentencing hearing and, before she can regain a driving licence, she will have to take an extended test.