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Trucker admits crash lorry was dangerous

PUBLISHED: 18:27 04 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:06 03 March 2010

THE lorry driver involved in a fatal crash on the A14 dock spur roundabout at Felixstowe has appeared in court where he has admitted using a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

THE lorry driver involved in a fatal crash on the A14 dock spur roundabout at Felixstowe has appeared in court where he has admitted using a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

Walter Purslow, 43, of Church Close, Cructon, near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, also pleaded guilty to making a false entry on a tachograph in Birmingham or elsewhere on April 21 … the day of the crash.

His court appearance in Ipswich follows an accident which claimed the life of father-of-three, Martin O'Sullivan, from Parham, on one of the county's most notorious junctions.

Mr O'Sullivan had been driving his silver BMW 3-series towards the Suffolk resort when Purslow's lorry, turning to the port, suddenly rolled over and onto his car.

The 56-year-old was killed instantly but his wife Sue, a passenger in the vehicle, remarkably walked away with minor injuries.

Also appearing with Purslow at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court yesterday was John Price, 36, of Hawthorn Road, Minsterly, Shrewsbury, and David Bendall, of Sun Break, Manscroft, Shrewsbury.

Price admitted use of a vehicle in a dangerous condition on the dock spur roundabout, with the suspension set too high for the use of a trailer. Bendall denied using a vehicle in a dangerous condition between April 19 and 22 but admitted failing to take 11 hours daily rest in a 24 hour period on April 21 and making a false entry on a tachograph on April 21.

Mr O'Sullivan and his wife had been on their way to Felixstowe on a shopping trip when the accident happened.

Mr O'Sullivan was an outstanding athlete and former army major. He was educated at Dover College and trained at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

There has been a series of accidents on the roundabout and a long campaign for action.

The case was adjourned until January 29 where there will be a pre-trial review and a trial date fixed for Bendall and dates will be set for Price and Purslow.

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