A BUS driver who lost control of a double-decker vehicle before ploughing into a pedestrian, sending him sprawling through the air, was banned from driving for two years.

Cheikh Senghor was driving one of Reading Buses' Number 17 vehicles in Gun Street, Reading, when he lost control and crashed into Simon Smith.

A judge heard how Senghor was driving at an 'excessive speed' when the bus suddenly surged forward.

What happened next was a shocking incident where the 40-year-old hit the accelerator instead of the brake, leaving Mr Smith, a lorry driver, with serious injuries.

Senghor, aged 40, admitted a single count of dangerous driving and was slapped with an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for a year.

Judge Paul Dugdale said: "I am going to accept what you said in your pre-sentence report and what was raised in part as an explanation.

"You were driving a hybrid bus and they have as I understand a habit of surging forward slightly which is normal.

"On this occasion it surged forward as you went into that chicane and you panicked and your foot landed on the accelerator and the bus shot forward around the chicane out of control.

"It is clear from CCTV you lost control of the bus, it veers to the left towards Purple Turtle.

"At that moment Simon Smith who was walking across the road with his back to you and your bus caught him square on."

A video of the dramatic incident was shared online and went viral shortly after the incident on June 24 last year.

Mr Smith suffered a fracture to his rib and shoulder and was unable to work for several month.

Judge Dugdale, presiding over a sentencing hearing at Reading Crown Court, heard how the incident had a "profound" effect on Mr Smith, his wife and their five-year-old son.

The judge added: "It is nothing short of a miracle he was able to get up.

"It must have been quite shocking to him to realise how close he came to really serious injury or worse that day."

Reading Chronicle:

The bus was badly damaged after the crash.

Senghor, of St John's Road, Wallingford, admitted a single count of dangerous driving.

He was sentenced to eight months in jail, suspended for a year, and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.

Alexander Dos Santos, mitigating, told the judge how his client had shown remorse for his actions and wants to apologise to Mr Smith face to face.

He also revealed how someone stole Senghor's personal belongings and his passport from the bus while he rushed out to check on Mr Smith.

"He did cause the bus to take speed around the bend, he takes full responsibility for that," said Mr Dos Santos.

"He is a man of good character and has a good driving record.

"There is nothing I can say to mitigate down the fact that it is lucky that there was not greater injury or damage."

Senghor was sacked from Reading Buses following the incident.