Published: 00:01, 09 February 2018
A lorry driver who ploughed into queue of vehicles and fractured a driver’s spine has been fined £600.
A jury cleared Gregory West, 55, of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and convicted him of the lesser offence of careless driving.
Maidstone Crown Court heard victim Natalie Kemsley was driving her Ford Fiesta on the A249, approaching the Stockbury roundabout, on December 22, 2015.
She had passed a broken down taxi in the inside lane and was in a line of traffic when West’s Scania truck was about to move into the outside lane, only too have his path blocked by a van.
He was travelling at about 15mph as he failed to brake in time and crashed into the back of Mrs Kemsley’s car, which was shunted into other vehicles.
The victim had to be cut out of her car. As well as fracturing her spine, she had a broken wrist.
She spent 12 weeks in a back brace as a result and needed physiotherapy.
West, of St Margarets-at-Cliffe, near Dover, said as he was moving into the outside lane a van came up on his blind spot and took his space.
"It seems to take his livelihood away from him would be disproportionate" - Judge Martin Huseyin
He used emergency braking, but could not avoid hitting the Fiesta.
He denied he was not looking or concentrating and gave a no comment interview on legal advice.
Judge Martin Huseyin said of West, who denied the charges: “I am not going to disqualify.
"It seems someone who has been driving for 30 years without an incident, to take his livelihood away from him would be disproportionate.
“The jury must have found a momentary lack of thought. Fortunately, it was not more serious than it was.”
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