HGV driver 'lost control' and swerved at road user in 'rage' incident

A HGV driver ‘lost control of his senses’ when he swerved at another road user in an act of road rage, a court heard. Alan Crabtree, aged 53 and of The Parklands in Penrith, Carlisle, appeared before Mold Crown Court on Thursday for sentencing. He had already admitted an offence of dangerous driving at a previous hearing.

Simon Mintz, prosecuting, told the court that on February 27 this year, complainant Mathew Price had been delivering a cab without a trailer to Scania in Alltami. On the M56 he indicated to overtake a tanker, which was being driven by Crabtree, but as he got alongside it Crabtree also indicated to pull out. Mr Price was forced to move and sound his horn in order to avoid a collision as Crabtree “swerved” at him.

As he eventually overtook the defendant, Mr Price made a remark through the window at him and drove on. Later, on the A494, Crabtree caught up with him and started swerving at him once again. Mr Mintz said at one point the vehicles were so close together, Mr Price said he could have touched the tanker through the window.

A driver behind both heavy goods vehicles, who caught the incident on dashcam, was so alarmed that he signalled for them to pull over. They did so on the hard shoulder and the police were called. Dafydd Roberts, defending, said: “He has been a HGV driver since 1988 and he apologises for this.

“He’s normally a careful driver and holds a clean license. “In 2015 he set up his own business and his work mainly involves the haulage of animal foodstuffs. “It was fortunate no injury or damage was caused.”

Judge Niclas Parry told Crabtree: “This is about road rage. “You lost control of your senses. The red mist fell and you were using your vehicle as a weapon to seek revenge on a fellow driver who upset you, having had the temerity to criticise your driving.

“It is staggering that an experienced professional driver chose to swerve simply to intimidate the other driver. “Had there been a collision between such heavy vehicles, the consequences could have been extremely serious. “Normally you’re a productive member of society.

You acted out of character.” Judge Parry handed Crabtree a 12 month custodial sentence, but suspended it for two years. He ordered him to undertake 250 hours of unpaid work and pay prosecution costs of GBP420, as well as a victim surcharge of GBP149.

Crabtree was also disqualified from driving for two years.

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