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Dangerous driving HGV driver who broke man’s leg and wrote-off police car convicted

  • 17 February 2014
  • By Hayley Pink

The driver of a lorry that crashed near Dover, breaking the leg of a recovery vehicle worker and writing off a police car, has been given a 12-month suspended prison sentence and disqualified for driving for two years.

John Barnes, aged 52, of Hopes Lane, Ramsgate, appeared in court last Thursday (13 February) after admitting he had caused serious injury by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

The court heard how a recovery driver was underneath a broken down Volvo car, preparing to tow it away from the A256 Sandwich Road near Waldershare, when the collision happened on 14 June last year.

Barnes’s lorry first careered into warning cones and then crashed into the back of a Kent Police car parked behind the Volvo to warn approaching traffic. Police officers were forced to leap over the barrier at the side of the road to avoid the lorry.

The officers shouted a warning to the recovery driver who managed to pull himself out from under the car just as the police car was shunted into the rear of the broken down Volvo.

But the 40-year-old from Broadstairs did not have quite enough time to fully get out of the way and  the Volvo was pushed over his legs.The recovery driver required surgery for a broken leg and was off work for several months.

HGV driver Barnes told police that he had not seen the police car until the last minute due to the sun.

However, detective sergeant Scott Lynch from the Kent Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “The lorry driver had 100m of clear view of the obstruction, which was clearly signalled by the emergency flashing lights of the police car. Yet the driver failed to react to the hazard until the last minute and it was very fortunate that no-one lost their life.”

Barnes will be expected to take an extended driving test at the end of his disquailifcation period, as well as pay £380 in costs. He has also been ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.


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