Driving To Deliver Your Business

Forklift truck smashed into soldier's pick-up and gouged through it

This is the moment a forklift truck smashed into a soldier’s pick-up on an industrial estate – leaving his military career in jeopardy. The corporal suffered compound fractures to the bones in one arm, along with broken teeth and lacerations to his face, and is undergoing intensive physiotherapy in the hopes he can continue in the Army.

Swansea Crown Court[1] heard that in July last year 67-year-old Bernard Power arrived at Swansea’s Morfa Industrial Estate in his HGV to make a delivery. Brian Simpson, prosecuting, said he parked in Alamein Road and detached the forklift truck which was carried on the rear of the vehicle.

Power, at the wheel of the forklift, then pulled out from behind the lorry just as the soldier was driving past in his pick-up.

The forks of the forklift gouged the bonnet of the vehicle then ripped into the cab. The forklift was spun around by the force of the impact and the corporal’s vehicle came to a stop nearby and members of the public rushed to his assistance.

The court heard the forks on the forklift were raised to a height of three of four feet. They should have been just inches off the ground when the vehicle was being driven on a public road.

The prosecutor said the soldier suffered two fractured bones in his left lower arms – with the broken bones left sticking out through the skin – as well as lacerations to his face and three fractured teeth, one of which required root canal work.

Bernard Power outside Swansea Crown Court

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Power, of Graham Walk, Riverside[2] , Cardiff[3] , had previously pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. In an impact statement read to court the victim said he had been in the British Army for eight years and had always been an active person.

He said the Army had been “really good with supporting my return to work” but unless he could recover full use of his left arm he may have to be medically discharged. He added the actions of the forklift driver had turned his life upside-down.

The corporal is undergoing extensive physio in an attempt to return his arm to normal use.

The court heard Power had worked as a driver for SIG for some 25 years without incident and had received full training in how to safely operate a forklift. He was dismissed from his job following the incident and has since not renewed his HGV licence and has retired from work.

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Neil Evans, for Power, said his client had been a HGV driver for 34 years and had an “unblemished” driving record with his former employer. He said the defendant accepted he had been properly trained and could not explain why he departed from his training.

The barrister described it as a “momentary lapse” on Power’s part.

Judge Keith Thomas told Power what he had done had been “extraordinarily dangerous”.

He said the appropriate sentence after trial would be two years in prison but giving the defendant credit for his guilty plea that was reduced to 17 months and was suspended for 12 months.

Power was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work, and was banned from driving for two years.

He must pass an extended test before he can get his licence back.

References

  1. ^ Swansea Crown Court (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  2. ^ Riverside (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  3. ^ Cardiff (www.walesonline.co.uk)



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