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Trucker to be sentenced

PUBLISHED: 14:50 28 May 2002 | UPDATED: 12:00 03 March 2010

TRUCKER Walter Purslow, whose lorry was in a dangerous condition when it was involved in a fatal collision at Felixstowe's notorious dock spur roundabout was due to discover his punishment today.

TRUCKER Walter Purslow, whose lorry was in a dangerous condition when it was involved in a fatal collision at Felixstowe's notorious dock spur roundabout was due to discover his punishment today.

Purslow, 43, of Church Close, Cruckton, near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, will appear before South East Suffolk Magistrates for sentencing.

He was the driver of the lorry which flipped on to its side as it started to turn right to the port and landed in the inside lane of the A14 junction, crushing the BMW driven by Martin O'Sullivan.

Mr O'Sullivan, 56, was killed instantly, while his wife Sue, sitting beside him, was left with minor injuries and in deep shock.

The couple, from Parham, near Woodbridge, had been on their way to enjoy a day shopping at Felixstowe and were unaware of the dangers of the roundabout.

Purslow has already pleaded guilty to using a vehicle in a dangerous condition on April 21 last year, and also pleaded guilty to making a false entry on a tachograph in Birmingham or elsewhere on the day of the crash.

Also appearing before the magistrates was John Price, 36, of Hawthorn Road, Minsterly, Shrewsbury, who admitted use of a vehicle in a dangerous condition on the dock spur roundabout with the suspension set too high for a trailer.

He is also due to be sentenced today.

Since the accident, the Highways Agency has spent £25,000 on signs warning drivers that their lorries could flip over and advising them to drive at 20mph.

The Transport Research Laboratory has also spent ten months studying the site and has come to the conclusion that vehicle defects and poor loading of containers are the main causes of the crashes.

Further work is to be carried out this autumn to improve the road markings and signs again, and help is to be sought from the port authorities and Road Haulage Association to make people aware of the dangers of badly loaded vehicles.


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