A DRINK driver who left a pedestrian for dead in a horrifying hit and run has had his driving ban overturned.

Twenty-four-year-old Daniel Hassey was hurled 12ft into the air and left critically injured after he was stuck by Kevin Hayes, who was driving home from a boozy night out, on the Bridgewater Expressway in Runcorn.

The now 30-year-old sped away from the scene without stopping, and was jailed for 20 months and banned from driving for 10 years in 2012 after admitting dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident and drink driving.

But today, Wednesday, his disqualification was lifted early by a judge at Chester Crown Court.

Hayes got behind the wheel in the early hours of a Sunday morning in July 2012 after downing two beers and four double vodkas during a night out in Liverpool.

At around 4.30am, he was seen driving ‘aggressively’ on the Silver Jubilee Bridge – tailgating a fellow motorist with his headlights on full beam and travelling at up to 55mph in a 40mph zone.

After continuing onto the expressway, Hayes ran over Mr Hassey as the keen golfer and footballer was crossing the road – leaving him with a broken leg, two broken shoulders, a broken pelvis and bruised lungs.

His family feared that the former Grange School pupil would not survive his injuries, but he pulled through after undergoing numerous operations.

Hayes was arrested at his home in Windmill Hill later that morning, and was still nearly double the drink drive limit six hours after the incident.

The steelworks estimator was previously been banned from the roads for drink driving in 2010.

But the court heard this morning that the dad is now a ‘much-changed man’ whose disqualification had hindered his chances of a promotion at work and affected his family life.

Lifting the ban three years early, judge Nicholas Woodward said: “A 10-year ban is an extremely long ban – it’s not unheard of, but it’s extremely rare.

“You were obviously well affected by drink, driving in an aggressive and dangerous manner – this man suffered very severe injuries, and you know yourself that he could have died.

“At the time you committed this very serious offence, I’ve no doubt that you were quite a different young man.

“It’s clear that you were quite wild – you were very immature, selfish and thoughtless and it was that sort of attitude that led to the commission of this offence.

“I’m satisfied that you are a much-changed man – you are genuinely remorseful for what happened and you have worked hard to establish your life as a decent, hard-working family man.

“The purpose of a ban is to protect the public and reflect the fact that driving a car is a privilege and not a right.

“In my judgement that purpose has been served, and preventing you from obtaining a full licence for a further period would achieve nothing more than inflict financial hardship upon your family.”

Hayes will be required to pass an extended retest before he is allowed to drive again.