Sunday, September 27, 2009

Towed boat with no lights hit by lorry on A194M

Towed boat with no lights hit by lorry on A194M

SHIPWRECKED - and it didn’t even happen at sea.

That was the fate of the Lisa P pleasure boat when a truck ploughed into it as it was being towed on a trailer on the A194M in Gateshead.

With no lights on the back of the trailer being pulled by a Range Rover on an unlit section of the road near Follingsby Interchange, it was a sitting duck, a court heard.

Minutes earlier another motorist had a near miss with the unlit trailer and alerted police. But before officers could take action, a 27-tonne HGV smashed into the back of the trailer.

The Range Rover and trailer were shunted 100 yards up the road. The Range Rover was damaged, the trailer and boat were destroyed but no-one was hurt.

Range Rover driver Neal Glendenning faced the music at Gateshead Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to using a trailer in a condition likely to cause danger or injury.

JPs heard everything was shipshape until the 52-year-old, from Front Street, Leadgate, County Durham, hit an unlit section of the motorway at around 7.45pm on March 3.

Prosecutor Kim Elder said: “A witness contacted the police because he had seen a vehicle on the A194M with no type of lighting or reflectors which caused him to swerve and narrowly avoid a collision with it.

“The witness felt so strongly about the vehicle being driven dangerously he stopped and called the police. He thought it wouldn’t be long before there was a collision.”

And that’s exactly what happened when a lorry driver with 38 years’ experience came up behind the trailer.

Miss Elder said the driver, who was carrying pallets, was driving at between 35 and 40mph when he suddenly hit something.

“It was only after the collision when he got out that he realised he had crashed into a boat,” she said. “His vehicle was substantially damaged at the front end.”

A police collision investigator concluded the trailer was home made and not fit for its purpose.

And that there was no lighting at all on the back of the trailer because the cable was not long enough to reach the power point.

John Williams, defending, said the accident has been very costly for Glendenning.

“The boat had only third party insurance and that was written off with a £5,000 loss,” he said.

Magistrates fined Glendenning £85 with £55 costs. His licence was also endorsed.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Seeing the boat destroyed must have been a painful experience for its owner. It is only good fortune that no-one was seriously injured or killed.”

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