Category: HGV Driver News

Man dies after A12 crash near the Copdock roundabout

Police closed off part of the A12 near Capel St Mary while emergency services work at the scene Picture: Charlotte Bond

Police closed off part of the A12 near Capel St Mary while emergency services work at the scene Picture: Charlotte Bond

Archant

A man has died in an accident on the A12 involving a lorry.

Police closed off part of the A12 near Capel St Mary while emergency services work at the scene Picture: Charlotte BondPolice closed off part of the A12 near Capel St Mary while emergency services work at the scene Picture: Charlotte Bond

The crash between the silver Alfa Romeo he was driving and the blue HGV happened on the northbound carriageway, just prior to the Copdock roundabout, yesterday at 1.37pm.

The driver of the Alfa Romeo, who was in his 80s, was the only person in that vehicle and he died at the scene. The male lorry driver was unhurt.

The northbound carriageway was closed for six hours, until the early evening, while emergency services cleared the road and carried out their initial investigations.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or possesses dash-cam footage of the incident is asked to contact Suffolk police, quoting CAD 166 of March 21, 2020.

To report dash-cam footage see here.

To contact the police see here.

Phone police on 101.

To contact Crimestoppers anonymously call 0800 555 111 or see here.

Lorry driver jailed for fatal A47 crash at Tilney St Lawrence

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A lorry driver ploughed into a broken down van on the A47 killing the driver, who was sitting inside the vehicle, a court heard.

Igors Salmins, 51, failed to see the van parked on the roadside at Tilney St Lawrence, near King’s Lynn, despite Ricards Saputko, 59, having warning hazard lights on, and there being good visibility, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said for some reason Salmins failed to see the van and his lorry ploughed into the back causing Mr Saputko to be ejected from the vehicle. He suffered serious brain injury and died later that day.

Mr Youell said that section of the A47 where the accident happened had no hard shoulder.

“He drove straight into the back of that vehicle, which was there to be seen.”

He read out a victim impact statement from Mr Saputko’s wife, Irina, who described him as a “loving and supportive” husband, who was always the first person to help others. She said she missed him every day.

Salmins, of Elm High Road, Wisbech, who had the help of a Russian interpreter, admitted causing the death of Mr Saputko by careless driving on January 28, 2018.

You may also want to watch:

Jailing him for eight months, Judge Anthony Bate said the loss to Mr Saputko’s family could in no way equate to any sentence the court could impose and said how his wife spoke movingly about the loss of her husband.

He said: “The loss is beyond measure.”

He told Salmins: “You were not paying proper attention to the road ahead of you. You completely failed to see his broken down vehicle.”

He added that his reaction had been far too late to avoid the accident.

Judge Bate also imposed an 18 month driving ban.

Hugh Vass, for Salmins, said: “Nothing will bring back Mr Saputko. Whatever sentence will be scant solace to his widow and daughter.”

He said that there were no aggravating features such as Salmins using a mobile phone.

Mr Vass said: “He has lost his job and as a result he won’t be able to work ever again as a HGV driver.”

He added: ”For a matter of a few seconds the defendant for whatever reason did not take appropriate action and did not notice the vehicle until it was too late.”

'Elephant racing': Lorry drivers defend overtaking on A14

Opinion

Andrew Papworth's column on 'elephant racing' lorries provoked sharp debate. Picture: ARCHANT HIVE

Andrew Papworth’s column on ‘elephant racing’ lorries provoked sharp debate. Picture: ARCHANT HIVE

Columnist ANDREW PAPWORTH said lorries overtaking on the A14 should be banned. But how did HGV drivers respond?

Many lorry drivers feel they should be allowed to overtake on the A14 - although the majority of people in an online poll supported a ban. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARYMany lorry drivers feel they should be allowed to overtake on the A14 – although the majority of people in an online poll supported a ban. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

An opinion column, they say, should provoke debate.

My column last week, which was about lorries overtaking on the A14, has certainly done that.

To recap, I said that lorries overtaking on Suffolk’s biggest – and often busiest – road should be banned.

MORE: ‘Elephant racing’ lorries on A14 cause huge frustration

My argument, in short, was that as well as delaying car drivers for what feels like an eternity, the manoeuvre is often dangerous – there are many times when I have been forced to hit the brakes to avoid a crash.

I even dubbed the activity “elephant racing” – but the article wasn’t to everyone’s liking.

Although an online poll attached to the story – in which thousands of people voted – showed 73% in favour of my argument, I’ve had some very angry comments from lorry drivers themselves.

I should stress that many, while disagreeing with me strongly, have been totally polite and respectful.

Others, however, have been less kind – and I’ve been called everything from a “half-head” to a “moron” for expressing what I felt was a reasonable point of view.

As an opinion columnist, you must be able to take the flak as well as give it – so I guess I’ll have to take it on the chin. Besides, I’ve really no problem with people thinking I’m wrong.

What many heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers have asked though, not unreasonably, is that I give them a chance to put their side of the argument. So, what do lorry drivers say in response?

■ Overtaking saves us time, if not you

You may also want to watch:

The main thrust of many responses I’ve received is that while cars stuck behind lorries can easily make up the time later, slower and often speed-restricted lorries can’t.

Even though it may seem like a tiny gain to a car driver, the extra 3mph speed a lorry can do after overtaking makes all the difference over a long day.

Add that up over a month or a year, and it can be difference between a day off and missing the children’s bedtime – or getting stuck in a traffic jam.

■ We always overtake safely

I’ve absolutely no doubt that all those who’ve emailed me and commented on my story take safety with the utmost seriousness. I hope other lorry drivers follow their lead.

■ Car drivers do worse things than lorry drivers

Again, this is something I don’t doubt. I’ve seen plenty of dangerous manoeuvres from a variety of vehicles, so it’s certainly not restricted to lorries.

■ If you don’t like being delayed, get up earlier

Not an unreasonable point – whatever you or I think, the law is what it is and traffic doesn’t always move at 70mph on A-roads. All drivers should allow plenty of time for their journeys.

■ Lorry drivers play a crucial role in our daily lives

Whatever our opinions, it’s important to remember that HGVs deliver our food, vital supplies and in many ways keep our country going.

Have these responses changed my mind? Personally, not much – but I can completely understand the opposing point of view and the challenges lorry drivers face.

Perhaps I can end on a note on which we can, hopefully, all agree. From all the responses I’ve seen – from the polite to the strongly-worded – I can see lorry drivers expressing pride in their profession and a wish to stand up for their colleagues.

Genuinely, it’s refreshing to hear that lorry drivers are so passionate that they feel compelled to email me or, in the case of one very nice and polite man, call me up to defend their trade. It’s fantastic to see such a deep, heartfelt love for their jobs.

Now, excuse me, but this “moron” needs to get a move on so he can avoid the lorry traffic…