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Moment dad of crash victim meets lorry driver who fell asleep at wheel and caused fatal pile-up

The dad of a young man killed in a motorway smash has met the lorry driver who fell asleep at the wheel and caused the fatal pile-up. Nic Tweddell’s son, Toby, died after an HGV driven by Colin Wrighton crashed into stationary traffic on the M62 at the Rocket Interchange, Merseyside, in August 2006. Toby, 25, from Sale, Trafford, passed away in hospital from multiple injuries after his Nissan Micra was crushed by other cars in the collision.

A coroner later ruled the smash was an accident, after it was revealed Mr Wrighton had a sleeping condition. More than ten years later, Mr Tweddell and Mr Wrighton met and jointly called for GPs to carry out more detailed medical examinations on lorry and coach drivers, as well as faster diagnosis and treatment for people with sleep apnoea, which Mr Wrighton was suffering from.

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The condition causes the upper airways to repeatedly close during sleep, meaning sufferers constantly wake up to breathe and are left tired the next day. Mr Wrighton was initially charged with causing death by dangerous driving, but the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence against him after his sleeping condition was revealed.

He complained to his doctor about feeling tired four months before the accident, and tests were run for diabetes, which came back negative. It was not until after the crash that obstructive sleep apnoea was first considered. At the meeting, arranged by BBC Radio 5 live, Mr Tweddell said: “I always understood, Colin, the tragedy that we bear every day, you do also.”

Toby Tweddell died after the HGV driven by Colin Wrighton crashed into stationary traffic

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Mr Wrighton replied: “I do.

That’s why I didn’t want to walk away from it. That’s why I wanted to make people aware of what sleep apnoea can do to you. “I didn’t want other families to have to go through what we’re going through.”

He explained how he felt he should have gone to prison because “it wasn’t fair that I was here and Toby had passed away”. Meeting the victim’s father was “a blessing” as he wanted the family to accept his apology and know “there’s not a day goes by when I don’t think about Toby”. Mr Tweddell said: “I understand your feelings, Colin.

It’s taken me a long time to be ready to meet you but I’m glad we’ve done it and I think we’ve still got lots of work to do to increase awareness.”

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