Bin lorry driver jailed for crash

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 June 2016

Archant

A bin man from Weston-super-Mare has been jailed for 18 months after he lost control of the truck he was driving, causing it to topple onto an oncoming van and crush the driver.

On September 9 last year, Christopher Wall, aged 45 and of Severn Road, was out collecting garden waste in North Somerset with his colleagues when the crash occurred.

Four people had to be taken to hospital and the A370 through Backwell had to be temporarily closed after the crash, which left debris strewn across the road.

At a hearing at Bristol Crown Court on Friday, the judge heard how the former soldier was driving too fast through the village and was unable to navigate a bend properly – so he clipped the kerb and tipped the truck over.

The 26-ton vehicle fell onto Abijah Mandela, who was driving a van in the other direction.

Ms Mandela was trapped in the wreckage for more than an hour while the fire service cut her out of the van, and she sustained a broken leg and broken arm.

The court heard how Ms Mandela was in hospital for nine days having surgery on her broken bones, including having metal plates inserted, and she also suffered from anxiety during her recovery.

One of Wall’s colleagues, Harrison Beynon, was also travelling in the bin lorry at the time of the crash and suffered bruises and cuts, which have left him nursing scars.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Wall and two others were in the cab. The two people in the cab were concerned about the dangerous way he (Wall) was driving – in particular the heavy use of the accelerator and the brake.

“He was driving through Long Ashton when the vehicle mounted the kerb and just narrowly avoided colliding with a large sign.

“He was going 60mph in a 40mph zone.”

Wall pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving at a previous hearing last year.

Judge Alan Large banned also Wall from driving for three years after he is released from prison.

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