Copdock interchange bridge crash trucker denies careless driving

PUBLISHED: 14:14 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:16 07 January 2020

Petru-ionut Lungu leaving Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

Petru-ionut Lungu leaving Suffolk Magistrates’ Court Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A meat truck driver will face trial over a crash that caused traffic chaos and closed a busy Ipswich junction for an entire weekend.

The scene on the A14 at Copdock where the lorry overturned Picture: NSRAPTThe scene on the A14 at Copdock where the lorry overturned Picture: NSRAPT

Petru-ionut Lungu appeared before magistrates on Tuesday to deny causing the collision at Copdock interchange by careless driving last summer. The crash happened on the roundabout over the A14 at junction 55 on Friday, June 7.

It caused major disruption to rush-hour traffic using the road below and the adjoining A12. Police, firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene at about 5pm and arrived to discover a lorry overhanging the dual carriageway after tipping onto its side. Traffic was halted on the eastbound carriageway of the A14 while emergency services dealt with the incident.

It led to severe disruption in the area, with traffic left queuing on routes through Ipswich, where a Rod Stewart concert was taking place at Portman Road on the same evening.

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Removal of the vehicle took until the following morning, but disruption continued throughout the weekend as urgent repairs were carried out to the bridge. The bridge finally reopened, following installation of a temporary crash barrier, the following Monday morning. Lungu, 33, of St Martins Green, Trimley St Martin, entered a not guilty plea to the charge of driving a vehicle without due care and attention at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court this week.

Prosecutor Waseem Raja told the court that the collision caused damage to the MAN lorry being driven by Lungu, as well as to an Audi and Skoda Octavia by falling debris. Lungu, a professional lorry driver carrying a delivery of meat at the time of the crash, is alleged to have entered the roundabout at speed and failed to right the vehicle as it tipped over onto its nearside. He was taken to Ipswich Hospital for treatment to minor injuries.

Meanwhile, two other drivers suffered minor injuries as a result of falling debris striking their vehicles.

Lungu had been due to appear before magistrates on Friday, December 20, but the hearing was adjourned until this week due to flooding at the court.

The case was adjourned for a three-hour trial to take place on the morning of Thursday, March 12 at the same court.

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