Bridge over troubled transporter

FAILING to lower his load resulted in the driver of a car-transporter smashing into an Ipswich bridge, a court heard.Andrew Garland had just delivered a batch of cars to the Audi garage on Wherstead Road when headed for another drop-off in Stowmarket.

FAILING to lower his load resulted in the driver of a car-transporter smashing into an Ipswich bridge, a court heard.

Andrew Garland had just delivered a batch of cars to the Audi garage on Wherstead Road when headed for another drop-off in Stowmarket.

However when he reached the railway bridge that runs over Wherstead Road disaster struck.

The 29-year-old had failed to lower the deck on the car transporter and the vehicle crashed into the bridge.

Damage was caused to his Mercedes vehicle, the bridge, and a car that drove by was covered in debris from the accident.

At South East Suffolk Magistrates Court yesterday Garland pleaded guilty to charges of careless or inconsiderate driving and failing to report an accident.

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Gareth Davies, prosecuting, told the court that the accident happened on October 17.

He said: "The defendant was driving a Mercedes lorry which was a large articulated lorry that carries vehicles.

"He approached the bridge but the top part of the lorry's equipment was in an upright position and didn't have enough clearance so it hit the bridge. This caused a fair amount of damage to the lorry and bridge and another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction was showered with bits and pieces that broke off."

Shocked, Garland stopped but left the scene without reporting the incident. However he was later pulled-over by police near the Haughley bends.

The court heard that had the decks been lowered to the correct position the lorry would have passed under the bridge.

Ian Riley, in mitigation, told the court Garland had forgotten to adjust the vehicle's decks after dropping off the cars at the Audi garage.

He said: "He (Garland) said his whole life flashed in front of him. He damaged the bridge, he damaged two other cars and he was going to lose his well-paid, secure job."

The court heard Garland, of Cross Lane, Shepley, Huddersfield, subsequently resigned from his £30,000 a year position with ECM vehicle delivery services and is now working as an agency driver.

Magistrates fined Garland £200 for careless driving, £100 for failing to report the accident and ordered that he pay £35 towards prosecution costs. His driving licence was also endorsed with five penalty points.

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