Dangerous oil slick leads to fine

A MOTORCYCLIST and a car driver escaped from an accident with minor injuries after their vehicle skidded on cooking oil on a Suffolk road, a court heard.

A MOTORCYCLIST and a car driver escaped from an accident with minor injuries after their vehicle skidded on cooking oil on a Suffolk road, a court heard.

A police officer at the scene of the accident on the B1456 at Shotley detected a strong smell of “Chinese food” and then realised there was cooking oil covering the road.

Before South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court was delivery driver Wayne Lewis who admitted spilling the oil out of the back of his seven-and-a-half ton Mercedes lorry on September 8 last year.

Lewis, who works for Holland UK delivering cooking oil to catering companies and collecting waste oil for recycling, had left the Bristol Arms pub in Shotley after making a delivery and was driving back towards Ipswich when the accident happened.

The 32-year-old, of Laburnum Crescent, Frinton-on-Sea, told the court he had accidentally failed to secure the back doors of his lorry and five empty drums and one containing cooking oil fell out of the vehicle and coated the winding road.

Lewis said he used an oil scoop to remove the oil but the asphalt road surface made his task impossible. He then tried to call his boss to report the spillage but he was unable to get a signal on his mobile phone in the remote area.

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The court heard that a short while later a car and a motorcycle were involved in a crash on the bends in the road where the oil was spilled.

The car driver suffered minor whiplash and the motorcyclist suffered a bruised knee. Both vehicles were damaged.

The road was closed while sand was spread over the oil and temporary traffic lights were put in place.

Lewis pleaded guilty to using a vehicle with an insecure load. He said his firm had since fitted its lorries with door alarms to avoid a similar accident happening again.

Lewis was fined £175 and told to pay £35 towards court costs. Three penalty points were added to his licence.

The magistrates warned him: “It was an offence that could have had quite serious consequences.”

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