Driving mistake leads to night in cells

A HAPLESS lorry driver who panicked when he misunderstood a sign on the A14 causing a three-vehicle crash has appeared in court.

A HAPLESS lorry driver who panicked when he misunderstood a sign on the A14 causing a three-vehicle crash has appeared in court.

Piotr Pozegowiak's problems began when he saw a roadwork sign near Haughley which read 'right lane A14 only'.

As a result, the 32-year-old Polish national, who was driving in the left hand lane, thought he was in the wrong lane and quickly tried to move over.

However he failed to check his mirrors properly and drove into the side of a green Rover 75.

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Speaking through an interpreter, Pozegowiak pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention when he appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court.

He was arrested after the crash, which happened on the Bury St Edmunds-bound carriageway at about 9.45am on Wednesday.

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He was then taken to Ipswich police station and questioned over the crash and held in police custody overnight because he had nowhere to stay until he appeared in court.

Emma Lister, prosecuting, told the court the right side of Pozegowiak's lorry crashed into the left side of the Rover, which was going past in the next lane. A silver Ford Escort was also caught up in the crash.

She told the magistrates that when interviewed by police he said he thought he had been in the wrong lane and panicked.

The accident happened near roadworks where there was a 40mph speed restriction.

Sentencing him, magistrate Leisha Klein told Pozegowiak: “We've heard what the prosecutor has had to say and we do understand how this error occurred by you thinking that the outside lane was the only lane for the A14.

“However you should have looked in your mirror properly, thus it was a careless driving offence.

“For this offence you will be fined £50 which will be declared paid as you have been in custody since 1pm yesterday (Wednesday).

“Your licence will be endorsed and your driving record will have four penalty points on it.”

The magistrates also ordered Pozegowiak to pay £60 toward court costs but on hearing that he only had five euros on him, which he said he needed to pay a tunnel toll on his drive back to Poland, they ruled that the time he had spent in custody would also cover that.

What do you think of this case? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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