Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

Inquest told lorry driver Gurdip Johal who crashed off bridge onto A12 near Witham unaware what load he was pulling

PUBLISHED: 12:48 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:54 17 July 2017

The lorry which veered off the A12 and crashed below a bridge. Inset, Gurdip Johal. Picture: ERIN BRISTOW

The lorry which veered off the A12 and crashed below a bridge. Inset, Gurdip Johal. Picture: ERIN BRISTOW

Archant

An HGV test driver whose lorry crashed off a sliproad and onto the A12 at Witham earlier this year did not know what load he was pulling, an inquest has heard.

Gurdip Johal died when the articulated lorry he was driving overturned on Coleman’s Bridge at the Witham North junction of the A12 as he left the carriageway.

The lorry containing an uninterrupted power supply – made up of multiple batteries – crashed through the barrier and was left hanging over the embankment with the cab suspended over the A12.

The A12 southbound was closed for two days following the incident.

Mr Johal, of Humber Road, Witham, died at the scene on February 8, and a post-mortem examination confirmed he had no drugs or alcohol in his system. He died of heavy blood loss.

Gurdip Johal. Picture: FAMILY PHOTOGurdip Johal. Picture: FAMILY PHOTO

An inquest into his death held at the Essex Coroners’ Court in Chelmsford today heard the trailer had an unusually high centre of gravity due to the nature of the batteries.

• Tributes paid to ‘Superman’ brother and son Gurdip Johal

Mr Johal, who worked as a technician with Harris Trucks based in Witham, was on a warm-up drive before the vehicle had its brakes tested.

The inquest heard Mr Johal, 30, was an experienced driver who had driven the route daily.

Pc David Howard, from the Essex Police forensic collision investigation unit, said the right-hand bend combined with the camber and the lorry’s speed lead the vehicle to be “unstable”.

He added that by the time Mr Johal realised something was wrong there was nothing he could do to rescue the situation.

The bridge where the lorry fell onto the A12 between Kelvedon and Witham on February 8. Picture: NIGEL BROWNThe bridge where the lorry fell onto the A12 between Kelvedon and Witham on February 8. Picture: NIGEL BROWN

But he told the court if the lorry had been carrying a normal load it was likely it would have successful negotiated the bend.

Clinton Fitt, service manager with Harris Trucks, said the trailer had been padlocked and the firm did not know what it contained – adding that when companies left vehicles for pre-MoT testing they were usually empty.

Essex senior coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray concluded Mr Johal’s death was an accident, adding the incident was “tragic”.

Gurdip Johal with sister Mandip. Picture: FAMILY PHOTOGurdip Johal with sister Mandip. Picture: FAMILY PHOTO

Gurdip Johal and his wife Mandy. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDGurdip Johal and his wife Mandy. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

A £750,000 revamp of St Peters Wharf on Ipswich’s waterfront has been announced – with work set to kick-off in January.

Colchester Zoo have said goodbye to one of their residents who doubled their aged expectancy and had lived with them since 1980.

Suffolk’s Tory MPs look set to vote together to support Theresa May in Wednesday night’s confidence vote on her leadership – but in Essex the picture is somewhat different.

Today, Universal Credit will be introduced in the few last remaining isolated pockets of the country where it has yet to be introduced - including two towns in Suffolk.

Labour’s MEP for the east of England who was in Strasbourg during the suspected terror attack in the French city last night has expressed her sorrow following the incident.

Conservative MPs from across Suffolk and Essex have been making their views known on Theresa May’s vote of confidence which is set to take place this evening.

When we dwell on the current impact of global warming, we tend to think of polar ice caps melting or Californian wild fires, both of which might seem a world away from sleepy Suffolk. But Jonathan Dyke, the managing director of Suffolk Yacht Harbour, says he can already see the impact of climate change on his harbour in Levington.

A new 80-room hotel and coffee shop development in Bury St Edmunds had been scheduled to open in January, but has now been put off.

A village road is to be closed for the majority of a day so highways workers can carry out emergency repairs to the carriageway.

As MP’s get ready to vote on the future of PM Theresa May tonight we want to know how you would vote.

Most read

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24