Driver must compensate injured woman
A FELIXSTOWE man will have to pay £3,500 compensation to a woman after a freak accident left her with a broken leg.Graham Couszens, 45, from Roman Way, Felixstowe, pleaded guilty to a charge of using a vehicle in a dangerous condition.
A FELIXSTOWE man will have to pay £3,500 compensation to a woman after a freak accident left her with a broken leg.
Graham Couszens, 45, from Roman Way, Felixstowe, pleaded guilty to a charge of using a vehicle in a dangerous condition.
South East Suffolk Magistrates Court heard how Couszens was employed as a lorry packer.
On February 25 this year, he was driving a white transit van which was pulling a trailer. Couszens and his son had earlier placed a flat-packed shed in the trailer but had not checked to see if it was secure.
At about 6.45pm, at Beardmore Retail Park in Martlesham Heath, Couszens was driving round a corner.
However, as he went round the bend, the shed in the trailer came loose and fell out of the vehicle.
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The shed then hit a female lorry driver who had just stepped out of her vehicle.
This impact left the woman trapped under her lorry and a fire crew and three paramedics were called to free her.
The woman, May Evans from Felixstowe, was taken to Ipswich hospital where she had a five-hour operation to set and pin the bones in her leg.
The court heard how she fears she will never be able to drive a lorry again because of her broken leg.
Couszens said: "All I can say is it was an unfortunate accident. The shed was secured on one side by my son and fixed by me on the other, but I did not know if it was fixed securely.
"I wish to apologise for the accident and it was just unfortunate that a person was in that position when it happened."
Sue Humphries, chair of the bench, said: "This was a moments carelessness with awful consequences."
Couszens was told he would have to pay £3,500 compensation to the woman within seven days.
Couszens, who had just been made redundant, said: "I do not know where I will get three and a half thousand pounds from."
The magistrates then told him he had a maximum of three months to pay the money. He was also fined £50 for the offence, had three points put on his driving licence and ordered to pay £35 court costs.