Ipswich trucker banned after his 44-tonne lorry hit broken-down BMW on A14

A14 near the Copdock interchange

A14 near the Copdock interchange - Credit: Andrew Partridge

A remorseful lorry driver has been disqualified from driving after his 44-tonne artic ploughed into a broken down car on the A14 seriously injuring its occupant.

Hazardous chemicals transporter Stuart Harris, 65, of Chesterton Close, Ipswich, admitted careless driving when he appeared before Ipswich magistrates.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said Matthew Spink, the driver of the BMW Harris collided with, ended up at Addenbrooke’s Hospital after sustaining a brain haemorrhage and other injuries.

The crash occurred at around 10.50am on December 17 on the Bury St Edmunds-bound carriageway near the turn-off to the A12 at Copdock Interchange.

Mr Spink’s car had broken down and had pulled over to the side of the A14. Half of the vehicle was on the road, half was on the inside lane.

Mr Ablett said Mr Spink put his hazards lights on and had called his father on his mobile phone. The next thing he recalled was his BMW being struck from behind and falling unconscious.

The court was told the BMW was virtually crushed by the impact.

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Mr Spink was initially taken to Ipswich Hospital, but due to the severity of his injuries he was transferred to Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge.

In addition to the brain haemorrhage he sustained cuts to his body, bruising to his legs and a damaged sciatic nerve.

Harris, representing himself, said he had overtaken another lorry and was doing the normal things to check the road.

He told the court the other lorry flashed its lights, which he took to mean he could move into the inside lane.

The accident occurred a second or two later.

Harris said he had been transporting dangerous chemicals for 40 years.

He added: “My remorse is so hurtful. I have never had that happen to me before in all the years I have driven.”

Chairman of the Bench Alan Wade told Harris: “This was a momentary lapse. We recognise that, but it had severe consequences to the vehicle you hit and to the driver of that vehicle.”

Harris was banned from the road for 28 days and fined £450. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £45 victim surcharge.

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