Monday, February 18, 2008

Driver crippled in freak accident

Driver crippled in freak accident

A LORRY driver crippled when a freak runaway trailer collided head-on with his cab near Howden told a jury of the moment he thought he was going to die.

Father-of-three Clive Wade (44), said he could see he was on a collision course when a trailer owned by Hutton Cranswick licensee Clive Tomlinson appeared in front of his milk wagon.

Mr Wade of Holme-upon-Spalding Moor had to be airlifted from the horrific smash on the A614 on Thorpe Road, near Hygena. He suffered serious injuries including several broken bones to his legs. He needed surgery at Hull Royal Infirmary after the smash and now is unable to work and walks only with crutches.

He had been returning from Bristol to the village with an empty wagon after delivering condensed milk when the crash happened. His cab was hit by a breakaway trailer loaded with a mobile bar and marquee.

Giving evidence in a written statement at the start of a trial at Hull Crown Court Mr Wade said: "I could see I was on a collision course. The trailer was hurtling out of control towards me. I took hold of the steering wheel as hard as a could as the only place to go was to the left. I didn't try and turn too fast as the vehicle could have jack-knifed. I thought I was going to be killed. I heard a loud crunch."

Mr Wade, formerly of Wilson Close, Market Weighton, sat in court with his family as the statement was read. The court heard he still had two 13-year-old twins to support and had worked for the same dairy firm in for 21 years.

The driver of the Iveco van, Simon Saxby (46), pleaded guilty to driving a van dangerously on September 21, 2006.

Mr Saxby of Past Heap Farm, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells, told the jury he had had begun work for Mr Tomlinson in May, 2006 in the bar tent business and had no experience of towing a trailer or instruction "whatsoever".

He had been due to set up a bar and tent in a marquee in Derbyshire on the day as part of a nationwide mobile bar business. The court heard the firm had seven vans and four trailers and the drivers never knew which combination they would be taking out. He said he had been staying at the White Horse Inn at Hutton Cranswick at the time and the trailer had been loaded up for him before he set off. He said: "I didn't do my job correctly that day. I didn't do what I should have done. I am very very sorry about what happened. I had no training. I didn't know there wasn't a breakaway cable."

Crown barrister David Hall told the jury Mr Wade had done everything possible to avoid the collision and was in no way to blame. Mr Hall told the jury the accident happened when nuts and bolts sheared on the back of a tow bar, which broke away from a blue Iveco van towing a trailer. He said police had found there was wear and tear on the tow bar and lack of a breakaway cable. He said other issues to consider were a seized load sensor valve, defective hand-brake, overloading and a problem offside brake caliper. He said the tow-bar defects should have been spotted by Mr Saxby before he set off if he had been a careful and competent driver.

Clive Tomlinson (47) had denied any wrong doing. A jury was instructed to find him not guilty of the charge of aiding and abetting a van and trailer to be driven dangerously on the third day of a scheduled four-day trial. He was not in the van and denied knowing it was a danger.

Mr Saxby is due to be sentenced in around four weeks time and was allowed to walk free from court on bail.

Published on 14th February 2008 in News.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bus stop woman hit by runaway trailer

Bus stop woman hit by runaway trailer

From the Bolton Evening News, first published Saturday 29th Jun 1996.

A RUNAWAY trailer ploughed into a woman standing at a bus stop in a freak hit-and-run accident which left her fighting for her life.

The trailer broke free from a car travelling down the East Lancs Road in Swinton and careered onto the pavement before hitting mother of four Mrs

Maria Young, aged 41, of Sportside Avenue, Walkden.

Police said she had been waiting for a bus at the side of the busy main road.

Detectives are now hunting the driver of the car who did not stop after the accident and are appealing for witnesses.

The accident happened yesterday at 3.40pm on the East Lancs Road, close to its junction with Eccles Road.

The vehicle was travelling west bound down the carriageway when the trailer became detached.

Mrs Young was rushed to Hope Hospital with serious injuries. This morning she was described as "critical" in the intensive care unit.

Any witnesses able to help trace the vehicle - believed to be a "small, possibly light blue car" - are asked to contact PC Gerrard at Salford Traffic Unit on 0161 856 5078.

Mrs Young has three daughters, aged 20, 18, and 11, a 13 year old son, and two grandchildren

She had been to visit her eldest daughter in Swinton and was waiting for the bus to take her home when the accident happened.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.

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From the Bolton Evening News
© Newsquest Media Group 1996

Motorist hurt by runaway trailer

Motorist hurt by runaway trailer

From the The Argus, first published Friday 20th Oct 2006.

A motorist was left battered and bruised after a runaway trailer ploughed into her car.

Dawn Barnett, 65, was driving from her home in Hangleton to the nearby Sainsbury's when the trailer became unattached from a car travelling in the opposite direction and ploughed head-on into the driver's side of her Hyundai.

Mrs Barnett, a Brighton and Hove city councillor, dived for cover but still suffered major bruising, a deep cut to her knee and shock.

The driver of the car towing the one-ton trailer did not stop and police are now trying to trace its owner.

Mrs Barnett said: "As far as the other driver knew, I may have been dead. They wouldn't have known if it had hit a car, a pedestrian or ploughed into a house.

"The first I knew about it was this big blue thing was looming up in front of me and coming right at me.

"I wasn't paying particular notice to the other side of the road or what was happening over there but all of a sudden this big trailer comes on to my side of the road.

"I had the presence of mind to dive into the passenger seat because you can see it hit right by the driver's door.

"The next thing was a huge bang as the trailer hit and the car jolted to a halt. I just shut my eyes and hoped for the best.

"I was completely dazed and luckily there were plenty of people around who helped me and called an ambulance."

Mrs Barnett was taken to hospital after the accident, at 12.40pm on Wednesday in Hangleton Lane, and a resident from nearby Poplar Close gathered her belongings from the car and later returned them.

But she has been left shaken by the ordeal and is determined to trace the driver of the car.

Friends have been trawling local builders' yards to see if the trailer belongs to them but so far to no avail.

Mrs Barnett did not see the car the trailer had been attached to but believes it must be someone who either lives or works in the Hangleton area.

The trailer was full of sand and Mrs Barnett believes its owner was probably being employed by someone in the local area.

She said: "Someone has either now got to pay out for a whole trailer load of sand again or has not got the job done that they wanted.

"That should set some alarm bells ringing and I'd hope anyone who knows anything about it would come forward because this could have easily killed me or someone else.

"Imagine if the trailer hit a pedestrian or a child. They would be dead now.

"The worst thing is they must have known the trailer came unattached so why didn't they stop?

"The driver should have turned around immediately to see what had happened but they obviously didn't.

"They obviously were either too scared to face the music or too worried about what would happen to them."

Anyone who recognises the trailer or who has information about the incident is asked to call Sussex Police on 0845 6070999.

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From the The Argus
© Newsquest Media Group 2006

Police name trailer death crash woman

Police name trailer death crash woman

THE married mother-of-three tragically killed by a runaway trailer in Bere Regis on May 18 has been named.

Sarah Damen, 37, from Bere Regis, had just dropped her daughter off at Bere Regis First School and was walking home along the pavement when she was hit.

The trailer had broken free from a red Landrover that was towing it.

Police said Mrs Damen's husband Mark, 44, and their three children - Emily, five, Mary, four, and David, two - were being comforted by relatives. The three-year-old girl involved in the collision has been named as Rebekah Gee, from Bere Regis.

Rebekah was said to be making good progress in Dorset County Hospital, while her mum Suzanne was still recovering from shock after the incident.

Insp John Mallace, of Dorset Police's road policing unit, said: "This is a tragic road traffic collision and my thoughts go out to all those involved in it.

"In particular, I wish Rebekah a speedy recovery and send my condolences to the family of Mrs Damen.

"A professional investigation is taking place and police family liaison officers are keeping the victims regularly updated as to the progress of the enquiry."

Bere Regis First School have also offered their sympathies to the Damen family.

Head teacher Steve Battishill said: "Everyone at the school is shocked and saddened by this tragic event.

"Our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with the family and all involved in this terrible accident."

The group had been walking along the C6 Bere Regis to Wool road at Southbrook when the tragedy unfolded just after 9am.

A man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, but was bailed pending the findings of the police investigation.

7:00pm Tuesday 22nd May 2007

4x4 trailer kills school run mum

4x4 trailer kills school run mum

A MUM was crushed to death by a runaway trailer ? minutes after dropping her daughter off at school.

Sarah Damen, 37, had just waved off the five-year-old when the trailer loaded with wood broke free from a Land Rover and hit the pavement.

It overturned on to the mum of three, trapping her. Firecrews in Bere Regis, Dorset, used air bags to lift the trailer but paramedics could not save Sarah.

A woman and a child were also injured, but are stable in hospital. Police have arrested the 44-year-old Land Rover driver.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Trailer crash victim describes impact

Trailer crash victim describes impact

A driver today described the aftermath of a crash in which a trailer came loose and smashed into his car, killing his elderly mother-in-law.

Paul Llewellyn was driving Elizabeth Roberts to his home in Peterstone, south Wales, when a trailer became detached from the Land Rover of Timothy Rose, and was in collision with their Vauxhall Corsa.

Mrs Roberts, 84, died at the scene.

Rose, 49, of Elizabeth Avenue, Barry, south Wales, denies causing death by dangerous driving.

Hywel Hughes, prosecuting, told Cardiff Crown Court that Mr Llewellyn picked up his mother-in-law at 4pm on March 9 last year and they went to collect his wife at 4.30pm.

Describing the aftermath of the incident, Mr Llewellyn said: “I was pretty stunned. I looked at Bet (Elizabeth Roberts) next to me. She was sat upright and I thought she was okay.

“I turned around and my wife seemed unconscious. I started shouting to her and she sat up and said ’what’s happened?’

“Then, after the second impact my wife was sat up but when I looked at Bet she was slumped down. Then they dragged me out of the side window.”

Peter Davies, defending, read a statement by Mr Llewellyn from April 11, 2007.

In it, Mr Llewellyn said: “I saw the trailer coming down the hill. It wobbled but I didn’t worry too much about it or brake.

“When we collided it felt like we went up in the air. The impact was so bad I thought my brain had come out of my head.”

The court heard from Police Constable Simon Rogers, the accident investigator at the scene, who concluded that the safety chain on the trailer had snapped.

Judge Patrick Curran QC adjourned the trial until tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Woman, 85, 'killed by dangerous trailer

Woman, 85, 'killed by dangerous trailer'

An elderly woman died when a trailer came loose and hit the car she was in, a court heard today.

Timothy Rose, 49, was towing the trailer on his Land Rover down a hill when it became detached and swung into the road, where it collided with a Vauxhall Corsa travelling uphill.

Elizabeth Roberts, 85, was the nearside passenger in the car driven by her son-in-law Paul Llewellyn, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Hywel Hughes, prosecuting, said: “Glass was flying everywhere, there were scenes of chaos and confusion after the impact. It became clear Mrs Roberts was injured very seriously.

“She died at the scene despite valiant efforts by paramedics and a doctor.”

Mr Hughes said the trailer was in a bad condition – on three of its four wheels the brakes were defective. He said the ball fitting on the Land Rover and socket fitting on the trailer were different sizes.

Rose, of Elizabeth Avenue, Barry, pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at a previous hearing, also at Cardiff Crown Court.

In a statement read out in court, he said: “The trailer started to fishtail. As I looked back in horror, I saw the trailer, instead of being behind me it was beside me but there was nothing I could do.”

The court heard Rose had a routine check ’“once in a while” and did the maintenance himself.

Hayley Griffiths was driving behind Rose at the time of the incident on Pentyrch Hill in Cardiff on March 9 last year.

She said: “At the top of the hill I noticed the trailer started to bounce from side to side.

“I wanted to get away from the trailer so I tried to slow down.”

She said she did not see any brake lights come on on the trailer.

Clacton: Woman hurt in runaway trailer crash

Clacton: Woman hurt in runaway trailer crash
By James Dwan

A woman was taken to hospital after a runaway trailer was in a collision with a car on a busy road.

The passenger in the four-wheel-drive Suzuki Wagon suffered injuries to her neck and back, as well as breathing problems, after it was in a collision with the trailer of an Iveco van in Clacton.

Police, ambulance crews and firefighters were called to the accident in London Road.

The street was closed for more than 45 minutes amid fears that cylinders in the van, being used by road resurfacers, could explode.

A spokesman for Clacton fire station said the woman passenger, in her mid-50s, suffered slight injuries to her chest from the seatbelt.

The spokesman believed the trailer had become unhooked from the van and veered into the path of the oncoming vehicle.

Anyone with information about the incident, at 11.40am yesterday, should call PC Darren Lee at Stanway road policing unit on 01206 762512.

1:10pm Tuesday 5th February 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

Passer-by killed by trailer’s swinging side panel in Wrexham

Passer-by killed by trailer’s swinging side panel in Wrexham

A MOTORIST whose trailer hit and fatally injured a pedestrian yesterday went on trial for causing death by dangerous driving.

Mold Crown Court heard how a man was struck by the side panel of the trailer which swung open as it was being towed on Wrexham industrial estate.

Victim Damon Harry Palmer was thrown up into the air by the impact.

Mr Palmer, 57, from Stoke-on-Trent, a team leader with an insulation company, had driven to the industrial estate for a training day.

He had just arrived but as he parked his car in Abbey Road and got out, he was struck by the side panel of the twin axle Ivor Williams trailer being towed by a Chrysler Voyager driven by OIiver.

The accident left him with “serious and unsurvivable head injuries” in a pool of blood and he died a short time later in hospital.

Driver Rupert Oliver, 66, an inventor and former Wrexham businessman, now of The Residence at Kenchester near Hereford, denies causing death by dangerous driving.

Prosecuting barrister Simon Medland told a jury at Mold Crown Court that the side mesh panel of the trailer opened up like a substantial door.

The defendant was oblivious to the opening and closing of the panel on the trailer behind him, pulled out to overtake, and the panel came into contact with Mr Palmer’s head “causing appalling injuries.”

He was spun into the air, dropped to the road unconscious, and died half an hour later in hospital despite efforts to save him.

Mr Medland told the jury that there was no criticism of the defendant’s actual driving, but he was driving a dangerous vehicle – a trailer which had a substantial panel flapping about.

It was the prosecution case that the trailer should have been properly checked before the journey began a short time earlier, or at least he should have seen the side-panel flapping about before the fatal collision occurred.

As well as hitting Mr Palmer, the side panel rode up his blue Rover car, shunting it forward, and causing a passenger in the car to suffer a head injury.

Oliver claimed that he checked the trailer about two hours before he drove from his former company, SPI, on the Spectrum Industrial Estate.

An inventor who has spent a lifetime designing children’s play equipment, had been removing his experimental children’s play kit from a yard in Denbigh which was being closed down.

The previous night he took a load from Denbigh to SPI to store the items there. He left the vehicle and trailer overnight.

The following morning he had driven just half a mile intending to return to Denbigh when the accident occurred.

In a police interview, he said it was the most horrible thing that had ever happened to him, and he felt awful.

He said that he had driven for 50 years, was experienced in towing trailers, and always checked everything.

Forensic vehicle examiner Gary Roberts said in his view the two spring pins on the front edge of the side panel were not in place.

Defending barrister Stuart Driver said it was accepted that the bottom pin was not in place but suggested that the top one was, but that it was not properly secured by the spring.

The trial before Judge John Rogers QC is proceeding.