AN OSWESTRY pensioner fell asleep at the wheel of his car causing a ‘catastrophic’ head-on crash, a court heard.

Philip Lloyd, 68, had been travelling from Somerset to his Shropshire home when the crash happened.

He had later told police that he felt his head “nodding” before the collision on the A49 near Shrewsbury in July last year.

At Telford Magistrates Court this week Lloyd was given a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Lloyd, a hobby farmer, of Bronygarth, Oswestry, had pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was also banned from driving for two years and must resit a driving test and was ordered to pay £185 court costs.

The court heard that Lloyd's Peugeot had veered into the path of a Nissan around 3pm on the A49 at Bayston Hill leaving both drivers with serious injuries.

Nissan driver Mark Leeming suffered a broken pelvis, chest bruising and pain while his wife, a front seat passenger, had minor injuries. Lloyd suffered a broken leg and rib.

Sara Cooper, prosecuting, said that Mr Leeming was travelling south on the A49 at about 50mph and his car was fitted with a front-facing dashcam that recorded the collision.

She said the defendant was driving northbound behind an HGV that was moving at a speed of about 50mph.

"His Peugeot drifted to his off-side and into the path of Mr Leeming’s Nissan. There was catastrophic damage to the vehicles," she said.

In the aftermath a witness, who had attended to the defendant, had asked him what happened.

Miss Cooper said that Lloyd replied: 'I must have dropped off. I was staying at my daughter’s over the weekend. I didn’t sleep very well and I felt tired'.

When asked about stopping on his journey Lloyd said that he had stopped earlier during the drive from Somerset.

The court heard that Lloyd was fully aware that he was in an unfit state to drive regarding the time and distance he had travelled and that the A49 was not his normal route.

Douglas Lloyd, defending, said that his client previously had a clean driving licence.

"He made a full and frank admission that the cause of the collision was him nodding off and he was injured himself and he expresses his apologies to the victim," he said.

He said his client was effectively stuck on his farm due to the injury he suffered and that compensation was subject to ongoing civil proceedings.