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100mph danger driver on M6 at night

Judge condemns “phenomenal” act of dangerous driving – but praises lorry drivers who protected crash casualties

A danger driver whose Audi smashed into another car on the M6 at 100mph in a rainstorm at night told his injured victim: “It was your fault”.

After hearing about the dramatic night-time crash, Carlisle Crown Court Judge Peter Davies told Alexander McConville his actions had amounted to a “phenomenal” act of dangerous driving.

The 32-year-old defendant admitted dangerous driving.

Judge Davies jailed him for 15 months.

Prosecutor Brendan Burke described how James Stalker had been driving northwards with his wife Sheila along the M6 near Penrith at 10pm on August 3 last in heavy rain.

There was standing water on the carriageway.

Lorry drivers who were also on the road that night noticed McConville’s black Audi Q7 speed past them, with its lights switched off.

They estimated its speed as it passed to be more than 100mph.

Mr Burke said Mr Stalker had just steered his Kia car into the motorway’s middle lane as part of an overtaking manoeuvre when the Audi struck. “He describes a violent explosion from behind,” said the barrister.

“That was the defendant ploughing into the back of his car, which spun out of control and went across the carriageway towards the central reservation. Mr Stalker thought his car was going to be carried on to the southbound carriageway.

“But that didn’t happen: the car spun back round and ended up pointing southwards on the hard shoulder.”

Mr Burke described how two passing HGV drivers – Scott Deans and Kamil Sadel – parked their lorries so that they shielded the Stalkers’ stricken Kia.

The barrister said: “Afterwards, the defendant came up to Mr Stalker’s vehicle.

“He poked his head into the window and said it was Mr Stalker’s fault. Mr Stalker didn’t complain that this was said in an aggressive or threatening way but it was certainly an unwelcome observation.”

Both McConville and the Stalkers were taken to hospital to be checked over. The Stalkers needed weeks of physio therapy – about 14 weeks of treatment in the case of Mrs Stalker, who suffered whiplash.

Even in his police interview, McConville continued to blame Mr Stalker, saying the accident had been “one million per cent” his fault.

In a later interview with a probation officer, he claimed he had been driving at 75mph when the crash happened, and not over 100mph.

The court heard that the defendant, from Gorgat Avenue, Glasgow, had a criminal record that includes previous convictions for 12 offences, including being concerned in supplying class A drugs, driving a stolen vehicle, and drug driving. In March, he was given a two year driving ban for that subsequent driving offence.

Thomas Clarke, for McConville, said his client now accepted that he had been driving at excessive speed and to his credit he had not left the scene – though Judge Davies pointed out that he could not have driven off because his car as well as his victim’s had been written off by the crash.

The barrister said McConville was a full-time carer for both his sister and his father and they would struggle tremendously if he were jailed. He was also the father of a six-year-old daughter.

Passing sentence, Judge Davies told the defendant that the crash must have been terrifying for Mr and Mrs Stalker.

The judge said: “It was raining heavily and it was dark. Driving conditions on the M6 were dangerous.” Though the defendant disputed that he was driving at more than 100mph, his speed was clearly excessive.

The judge said: “It was not momentary driving at excess speed because it was clear you were overtaking other vehicles.

“You were in a hurry to get from England to Scotland; and because of the standing water, the presence of other vehicles, and because of the darkness it was a horrendous act of dangerous driving by you in this car.”

The judge said the defendant’s conviction for driving a stolen car and drug driving gave a clear indication of his level of contrition.

He told McConville: “For this phenomenal act of dangerous driving you must go to custody.”

As well as jailing the defendant, the judge imposed a further two year driving ban and a requirement that McConville must pass an extended driving test before driving independently again.

Judge Davies also praised the swift action of the two truckers to protect Mr Stalker’s car immediately after the accident.

After the case, Mr Stalker said: “It was a miracle escape.”

Police say it was sheer luck that McConville did not kill anyone.

Inspector Jo Fawcett said: “A motor vehicle can be a lethal weapon and all drivers have a legal duty to ensure they drive within the law, within their own capabilities, the capabilities of their vehicle, and to the road and weather conditions.

“Excess speed is a factor in a significant proportion of collisions, and the more speed that is involved, the greater the likelihood of serious injury or death to that driver or another road user.

“It is only through sheer luck that McConville did not kill anyone through his blatantly appalling standard of driving.”

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A38 closed after crash involving car and lorry near South Brent …

Comments (0)[1]

WATCH ABOVE: Traffic is queuing back towards Ivybridge on the A38


A stretch of the A38 has been completely closed following a crash between a car and an HGV.

Both lanes of the Exeter-bound carriageway have been shut at South Brent.

They were reopened at around 1pm and traffic is expected to begin easing shortly.

The incident has happened between the B3372, for Avonwick, and the A385, Marley Head, near the Shell petrol station at Carew.

Police were at the scene shortly after 11.45am.

Stagecoach South West said the resulting heavy traffic on the A38 northbound was causing delays on its Falcon service from Plymouth to Bristol.


Read next: Campaign to get the Plymouth Pavilions fun pool reopened[2]


Diversions are understood to have been put in place.

Devon and Cornwall Police have been unavailable for comment.

Traffic website Inrix reported at midday: “Very slow traffic and two lanes blocked due to accident, a car and high goods lorry involved on A38 Eastbound between B3372 (Woodpecker Junction) and A385 (Marley Head Junction).”

Traffic England initially said the road was expected to clear between 1.45pm and 2pm.


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References

  1. ^ Comments (0) (www.plymouthherald.co.uk)
  2. ^ Link to full article (www.plymouthherald.co.uk)
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A38 completely closed after crash involving car and lorry

Comments (0)[1]

WATCH ABOVE: Traffic is queuing back towards Ivybridge on the A38


A stretch of the A38 has been completely closed following a crash between a car and an HGV.

Both lanes of the Exeter-bound carriageway have been shut at South Brent.

They were reopened at around 1pm and traffic is expected to begin easing shortly.

The incident has happened between the B3372, for Avonwick, and the A385, Marley Head, near the Shell petrol station at Carew.

Police were at the scene shortly after 11.45am.

Stagecoach South West said the resulting heavy traffic on the A38 northbound was causing delays on its Falcon service from Plymouth to Bristol.


Read next: Campaign to get the Plymouth Pavilions fun pool reopened[2]


Diversions are understood to have been put in place.

Devon and Cornwall Police have been unavailable for comment.

Traffic website Inrix reported at midday: “Very slow traffic and two lanes blocked due to accident, a car and high goods lorry involved on A38 Eastbound between B3372 (Woodpecker Junction) and A385 (Marley Head Junction).”

Traffic England initially said the road was expected to clear between 1.45pm and 2pm.


Read next

References

  1. ^ Comments (0) (www.plymouthherald.co.uk)
  2. ^ Link to full article (www.plymouthherald.co.uk)