Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More about that weird motorway accident

Back in March, I reported on the strange incident in England where a Renault Clio was pushed for some miles beneath the front bumper of a large truck. The driver of the truck apparently wasn't aware of the car's presence! If you missed the original report, here's a video clip taken from another car on the same road.

The driver has just been found innocent of any blame. The Daily Mail reports:

Yesterday, the driver of the tanker, John Tomlinson, appeared before a tribunal, faced with being stripped of his heavy goods vehicle licence over the incident.

But as well as being cleared of any wrongdoing he was praised for his handling of the near-disaster after a police report found that Mrs Williams had been to blame.

The accident happened in January on the A1 near Leeds but was only investigated after dramatic footage was published on the internet showing the Renault Clio wedged against the front of the tanker as it sped down the fast lane.

At the time, Mrs Williams, 31, told the Daily Mail she had no idea how the lorry had hit her car as she was ‘tootling’ along to work.

She insisted she had not deviated from her path when she ‘felt a knock’ and found herself trapped under the truck’s bumper.

. . .

Mr Tomlinson was completely unaware of her presence until another driver flagged him down.

He pulled on to the hard shoulder where Mrs Williams, a vet from York, escaped shocked but unharmed. Her £6,000 car sustained only a dented side and worn tyres.

When the footage emerged on YouTube in March, it attracted millions of viewers and prompted the police to relaunch their inquiries into the incident.

During the investigation, Mr Tomlinson was suspended from his job delivering loads of silica sand for Cheshire-based Arclid Transport.

Yesterday, he appeared before North West Traffic Commissioner Beverley Bell, who was told police had concluded that Mrs Williams had pulled out in front of him from the left in an ‘ill-advised’ manoeuvre.

Tests had confirmed he could not have seen or heard the car wedged in front of his cab, and the hearing praised his actions.

Exonerating him, Miss Bell concluded: ‘You showed, in my view, coolness and a clear head.

‘I feel it is entirely inappropriate for me to take away your licence. You, your employers and the haulage industry should be able to hold your heads up high after this incident.’

. . .

Additional mirrors fitted to new lorries are meant to eliminate the blind spot which meant the Clio couldn’t be seen. Arclid has now installed these on its fleet.

There's more at the link.

I must confess, I still can't quite figure out how a truck-driver could not be aware that he was pushing a bloody great car in front of his vehicle . . . but I've never driven a large truck (only the 3-ton and 10-ton varieties found in the military), so I'm not in a position to judge. I'm glad that the inquiry has established the facts.



TheAxe said...

Looking at the pictures it seems she should not have pulled out that close in front of him and he had the right of way (along with right of weight), I'd agree with the Commissioner.

Anonymous said...

The truck driver was exonerated! Lorry Hallelujah!


CalvinsMom said...

The Renault Clio really isn't a bloody great car; it's more of a roller skate with aspirations of grandeur.