Van driver involved in head-on crash denies trying to overtake
A COURIER involved in a head-on crash on claimed he had swerved into the wrong lane to avoid running into the back of a lorry. Blackburn magistrates heard the lorry driver believed van driver Sadaqat Hussain pulled out to overtake despite having to cross double white lines to do so. He later tested positive for cannabis in his system but was below the impairment level.
Hussain, 39, of Ebery Street, Nelson, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on the A686 at Edenhall near Penrith on April 4. He was sentenced to 12 weeks in custody suspended for 12 months and made subject to a community order for 12 months with 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement. Hussain was also ordered to pay ?85 costs and ?115 victim surcharge and banned from driving for two years with a requirement that he takes an extended re-test.
Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said the HGV driver had been aware of a white van travelling close behind him for a number of miles. As he negotiated a right-hand bend he saw the van pull into the opposite lane to overtake. He also became aware of headlights heading in the opposite direction.
There was a head-on collision despite the driver of the oncoming vehicle mounting the grass verge. When he was interviewed Hussain said he had started work as a courier three months earlier and was driving about 300 miles per working day. John Rusius, defending, said his client was not trying to overtake. “He says he became aware of the lorry braking sharply in front of him and thought he would run into the back of it,” said Mr Rusius.
“Instinctively, he pulled to the right and unfortunately there was another vehicle coming in the opposite direction.” Mr Rusius said his client had cannabis in his system but had not been under the influence.
“Cannabis can stay in the system for a number of weeks and that is what happened to this defendant,” he said.