A teenage driver who drove a stolen car the wrong way through the Blackwell Tunnel and then caused a head-on collision, meaning the tunnel had to be closed and a loss of nearly £600,000 worth of revenue for Transport for London (TfL), has been sentenced to four years in jail.
Johal Rathour (16.02.03), 18, of Bridge Road, Grays, was identified by officers from the Met's Road and Transport Policing Command after he caused the crash in the early hours of 04:22hrs on 6 August 2021.
Luckily, no serious injuries were caused to the driver of the Mercedes van he crashed into. However, Rathour caused £80,000 of damage to the van and the stolen Range Rover he was driving, and a total loss of £585,000 of revenue for TfL due to the Blackwall Tunnel having to be shut for more than two hours during rush hour traffic.
Rathour ran away from the scene of the crash but was arrested a short time later after officers forensically identified him and tracked his mobile phone.
After he was charged with the offences, Rathour failed to attend court. He was subsequently tracked down and arrested by RTPC officers in January this year.
Police Constable Adam Lamb, the investigating officer in the case, said: "Rathour was guilty of an incredibly dangerous piece of driving and it was a miracle that nobody was seriously injured.
"Watching the video of him driving the wrong way through the tunnel is very distressing as it seems inevitable that a fatal collision would happen.
"As well as the damage to the stolen vehicle and the van he collided with, Rathour also disrupted and delayed the journeys of thousands of people using Blackwell Tunnel on the day of the crash.
"I am glad that he has faced justice for his actions and will not be able to drive on the roads of London for many years."