Ipswich taxi driver ‘can’t believe A14 drink-fuelled trucker didn’t kill anyone’

Paul Steward whose minibus was nearly hit by drink driver Dimitri Kamov.

Paul Steward whose minibus was nearly hit by drink driver Dimitri Kamov.

An Ipswich taxi driver has told how he and his child passenger could have been killed by a drink-fuelled driver’s lorry on the A14.

Trucker Dimitri Kamov is currently remanded in prison awaiting sentence after admitting to being three-times the limit while carrying a trailer full of wine.

The 38-year-old also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving between Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket when he appeared on video link before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich.

Minibus driver Paul Steward, of Shenstone Drive, Ipswich, said it was ‘like staring death in the face’ as Kamov’s lorry drifted between the inside and outside lane of the carriageway.

The 51-year-old was ferrying a boy, aged eight or nine, to Peterborough at the time.

With the youngster in the front passenger seat Mr Steward followed Kamov from the Ixworth junction to Newmarket.

Initially he thought the Bulgarian had fallen asleep and sounded his horn to alert him.

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However, as the incident continued Mr Steward realised it was not the case.

He said: “I can’t believe he didn’t kill anyone.

“I thought my number was up. I was doing about 55mph and had a young boy on board.

“Someone was looking down on us. He [Kamov] missed my van by three feet.

“It was like staring death in the face.

“I got to the lorry’s back axle and I had to brake very hard.

“I dropped back, got his registration and called police on my hands-free [phone].”

Some motorists managed to pass Kamov’s HGV, although others also had to brake sharply as they also attempted to overtake.

Mr Steward said: “I tailed him for about half-an-hour and how he didn’t turn the lorry over I don’t know.

“In the 20 years I have been driving I have never experienced anything like that.

“I would say his driving was diabolical. It was like a nightmare.

“He was swerving right to left, left to right.”

Kamov, a Bulgarian national, had picked up a consignment of wine from a depot in Bury St Edmunds. He is understood to have been taking it to Stanley, in County Durham, in his 20ft trailer.

The incident began just before 5.50pm on November 22.

It took nearly 20 minutes for police to stop Kamov’s lorry from the time Mr Steward reported the incident to when officers managed to get the trucker to pull over into a lay-by.

A breath test showed Kamov had 107 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs

Kamov is now awaiting sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court.