SHAMED Macclesfield Town player Izak Reid narrowly escaped jail after ploughing his Peugeot head-on into a Land Rover Discovery carrying a mother and her two toddlers.
Instead the 19-year-old midfielder was sentenced to 100 hours community punishment after he admitted dangerous driving.
He was also banned from the road for a year and must take an extended retest before he gets back his licence.
Reid, 19, smashed into the car as he overtook six cars on a bend at 60mph on the A523 Leek Road and smashed into the 4x4 as the family returned from seeing grandparents, a court heard.
The mother and her two-year-old boy suffered seat belt burns and whiplash and were treated at Macclesfield Hospital. Although her four-year-old daughter was unhurt, magistrates were told the child had trouble sleeping since the horrific crash.
At an earlier hearing, magistrates rejected a report recommending a medium level community punishment in favour of an all-options report - which opened up the possibility of prison for the disgraced trainee, who now seems likely to be handed his first professional contract.
To make matters worse Reid, of St Peters Gardens, Rickerscote, Staffordshire was caught behind the wheel of a VW Polo in a routine spot check - just two days before.
The apprentice, who was not insured and serving an interim driving ban at the time, claimed he was late for training and his lift had not come to pick him up.
Relieved Reid, who is in the final year of football scholarship with Macc Town, must also attend an enhanced thinking skills programme and pay £100 costs as part of his punishment. His licence was also endorsed with six penalty points.
Kate Marchuk, prosecuting, told magistrates Reid was on the wrong side of the road when the crash happened near to The Harrington Arms pub in Bosley at 2.15pm on August 31 last year.
He had only narrowly missed another car moments previously.
Miss Marchuk said: "She was travelling towards Macclesfield. The Peugeot was heading straight towards her."
Reid's Peugeot, which he used to travel to and from his club from Staffordshire, hit the Land Rover with such force it rebounded back and hit a van behind.
The van driver told officers at the time: "This was one of the worst examples of dangerous driving I have witnessed in my professional driving career."
Neill Fawcett, defending, said: "My client has played football since he was eight years of age. It has been his life's ambition, it has been his dream.
"It is now decision time in terms of whether or not he is offered a contract.
"We have received a very positive letter from his employers which is extremely hopeful, so much as to be almost a character reference."