Lorry driver avoids disqualification

A LORRY driver has avoided disqualification despite causing a crash which seriously injured two people on the A14.

A LORRY driver has avoided disqualification despite causing a crash which seriously injured two people on the A14.

Simon Duggan ploughed his articulated truck into the back of a four-wheel-drive car, near Wherstead, earlier this year but left South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Tuesday with five points added to his license.

The 23-year-old father of two, from Egremont Road, Diss, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention along the westbound carriageway of the road on May 6.

The court heard how Duggan was travelling towards the A137 slip road, having crossed the Orwell Bridge, when the crash happened at 9.58pm.

The heavy goods vehicle driver had entered the country at Felixstowe Port from Holland an hour earlier and was driving a left-hand-drive lorry.

One lane of the road was closed at the time and a reduced speed limit of 50mph put in place, but a tachograph reading taken by accident investigators found that Duggan was travelling at 62mph before the crash. At the point of impact his speed was 43mph.

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Stephen Colman, prosecuting, said: “The defendant collided with the Vauxhall Frontera, pushing it about 60 metres and causing it to turn 90 degrees.

“A witness reported reaching the bottom of the Orwell Bridge and seeing a lorry braking and snaking from side to side.

“The car driver suffered cuts and bruises and both he and his female passenger needed treatment for whiplash.”

Duggan, who has driven commercially for the last two-and-a-half-years, told the court he regretted causing the accident.

He said: “I am deeply sorry for my actions but all I remember was coming over the brow of the hill and thinking the road ahead was clear.

“I checked the right wing mirror to see the road behind and then I saw a car about 15 metres in front of me.

“I hit the brakes and tried as I hard as I could not to collide with the car.”

Duggan, who already had six points on his licence, was handed another five points by magistrates leaving him within one point of disqualification.

He was also fined £300 and ordered to pay £58 in court costs.