WITNESSES warned that a smash sparked by a drink-driver on the coast road could have been much worse.

They said it was lucky no-one was more seriously hurt in the rush-hour crash between Swyre and Burton Bradstock.

Drivers of a white Ford Escort estate and a black Volkswagen Eos both went to hospital after the collision on the B3157.

The Ford driver was arrested and banned from driving for 18 months at Weymouth Magistrates’ Court the next day.

The crash came amid Dorset Police’s summer drink-drive clampdown which has seen an increase on the same period last year.

Volkswagen driver Susan Gurney-Legg, who went to hospital with shoulder and back injuries, said: “I am still shaken up. I was lucky not to be more seriously hurt.”

Mrs Gurney-Legg, who lives at Chickerell, was driving towards Weymouth when the crash happened just before 6pm on June 22.

The white Ford Escort driver, John Alexander Renwick, 48, of Reading, was arrested at the scene and suffered a small cut to his ear.

He was fined £100 at magistrates for driving with excess alcohol in his system and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

He was also banned from driving for 18 months, to be reduced by four months if he completes a drink drive offenders’ course.

Drivers Nathan Groves and Pauline Smith saw the crash happen. Nathan, 31, said: “It could have been a lot worse. Imagine if the woman had kids in the car.

“If they had hit head-on I could have gone right into the back of her and there would have been a pile-up.”

Nathan, who lives in Cullumpton but was working in Weymouth on asbestos removal, said the car bounced off hedges before hitting Mrs Gurney-Legg’s vehicle.

Former parish council chairman Tony Edwards, who lives nearby, said: “I saw the aftermath. It looked horrendous. People need to drive safely. It is a beautiful stretch of road but people either belt down there or dawdle. Then others get impatient and do stupid things such as overtake in the wrong place.”

A police spokesperson said: “This incident serves as yet another reminder of the dangers of drinking and driving.

“Fortunately this collision resulted in less serious injury than might have been the case.”