Driving To Deliver Your Business

Driver with Tiverton firm cleared of dangerous driving on M5

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A trucker who overturned his lorry on a motorway slipway will be able to carry on his job after being cleared of dangerous driving. Former soldier Trevor Morpus caused traffic chaos when the HGV he was driving tipped over on the junction of the M5 and A30 at Exeter spilling a load of 25 tons of sea salt. He was found guilty of careless driving but cleared of the more serious charge of dangerous driving by a jury at Exeter Crown Court.

He told the lord the crash was caused by an insecure load and said he lost control on the sharp bend at Junction 31 Southbound because his cargo shifted. Morpus told the jury he thought he was going to die when the truck lost control and the trailer broke off and crashed leftwards while the cab went through the central reservation. The experienced trucker was working for Tiverton-based M T Transport and was transporting salt from Avonmouth Docks to St Ives in Cornwall when he crashed in December 2014, blocking both carriageways.

His tachograph showed he had been driving at 46 mph and the prosecution alleged he crashed because he was taking the 30 mph bend at a dangerous speed while trying to overtake a slow moving van. Morpus, aged 44, of Radford Avenue, Plymouth, was fined 600 with 60 costs with his licence endorsed with three points by Judge Geoffrey Mercer . He would have been disqualified automatically if found guilty of the more serious charge. The judge told him:”Your carelessness involved going into this bend too quickly . Happily and fortunately, the ultimate effect of this incident only resulted in minor injuries.”

During a short trial, Morpus said he had been taught to drive while in the army and become a class 1 HGV driver when he left at the age of 26 and has driven around 100,000 miles a year ever since.

He said:”I am very familiar with the road because I am a Janner, I’m from Plymouth, and I know the local area . I have driven that junction many times.

“As I left the motorway I was watching my wing mirror and using air braking and foot brake and slowed to 48 or 47 mph as I went into the left hand bend.

“As I came off the bend I felt the trailer twitch and thought something had fallen over . I knew I had to lose another 15 to 20 mph to tackle the right hand bend.

“I went back on the brake when I felt the trailer twitch . I looked in my driver’s mirror and saw my tyre . I was raised up in the air and the whole vehicle tilted to the left.

“I counteracted it by steering to the left and went back on the brakes . It came level and I thought it was okay but then I was flipped back up again for a second time.

“I was trying to pull the steering wheel and my foot was on the floor on the brake but I carried on into the Armco barrier.

“I said a few words . I said to myself ‘nothing matters now, it’s all over.’ I screamed and that was the last I knew .

When I opened my eyes I was lying on the driver’s window and I crawled up.”


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