Family problems forced trucker on road
TRUCKER Richard Dixon was drunk and had cut short his rest period before flipping his lorry, an Ipswich court heard.Dixon rolled his Scania articulated lorry at the notorious Dock Spur roundabout in Felixstowe at 8.
By Jon Tunney>
TRUCKER Richard Dixon was drunk and had cut short his rest period before flipping his lorry, an Ipswich court heard.
Dixon rolled his Scania articulated lorry at the notorious Dock Spur roundabout in Felixstowe at 8.30pm on June 14.
And police investigations later revealed he was over the drink driving limit and had doctored his tachograph to cover up being five hours short of his legal resting time.
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South-East Suffolk Magistrates Court heard 45-year-old Dixon, of New Row, Killingholme, Linolnshire, was feared seriously injured in the immediate aftermath of the crash.
But prosecutor Gareth Davies said a blood sample was taken when it was realised Dixon was not in serious danger.
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Mr Davies said the sample revealed the Lincolnshire trucker was more than one and a half times over the legal limit.
Dixon admitted drink driving and three counts of falsifying his lorry driving log.
But John Hughes, defending, urged magistrates to be lenient as Dixon was rushing jobs in an attempt to see his son.
Mr Hughes said Dixon suffered a heart attack last year and while in hospital his wife asked for a divorce and banned him from paternal visits.
Dixon then moved in with friends in Lincolnshire and had been allowed only two visits in the six months leading up to his crash.
Mr Hughes said Dixon had driven from Leeds to Felixstowe on June 14. He intended to finish work there before returning to the Middlesbrough family home to see his son.
But after Dixon dropped off the load, he was instructed to carry out a further trip to Wigan, meaning he would miss his appointment.
Mr Hughes said Dixon became very depressed. He started his compulsory nine-hour rest break by drinking a few cans of beer.
But his mood worsened and he took a snap decision to alter his log and set off early in the hope of making it to Middlesbrough the following day.
Describing Dixon's mood since the crash, Mr Hughes said: "He is very remorseful and is aware the consequences could have been far worse.
"It was very much out of character."
In disqualifying Dixon for 18 months, magistrates said: "This was an extremely serious accident and we would have been looking to deal with you very severely in other circumstances."
Dixon was also fined £250 for drink driving, £100 for his tachograph offences and ordered to pay £55 costs.