Driver jailed after lorry overturns and spills thousands of parcels
Main article content
A lorry driver who crashed and overturned his vehicle – spilling thousands of parcels onto the carriageway – has been jailed.
A section of the A27 between Emsworth and Chichester was closed for around 12 hours in both directions after emergency services responded to the incident on 9 October, 2020.
The driver – Stanislaw Polak, 63, of Jupiter Avenue, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire – had been travelling eastbound around 5.30am when the lorry overturned, blocking both carriageways.
He sustained serious head injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment, and later discharged.
Members of the public stopped to assist at the scene, and shone torches in an attempt to alert any oncoming traffic.
But the driver of a gold Renault Scenic was unable to avoid a collision; her car was written off and she was taken to hospital, but thankfully she was not seriously injured.
The crash caused significant damage to the central reservation and the road was subsequently closed in both directions to allow for the lorry to be recovered and for highways repairs to be carried out.
After being discharged from hospital, Polak attended a voluntarily police interview. He was served with a postal requisition to face a charge of dangerous driving and later pleaded guilty in court.
At Lewes Crown Court on Thursday 3 March, he was sentenced to a total of four months’ imprisonment, and disqualified from driving for 19 months. He must also take an extended re-test should he wish to drive again.
The court heard how when asked by a paramedic what happened, Polak said words to the effect of “asleep just for a second”.
Investigating officer, PC Steve Lambeth, of the Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “There was a suggestion the collision may have occurred after the driver fell asleep at the wheel. He later denied this, and claimed there was a defect with the vehicle that distracted him.
“I would urge all motorists to ensure they have had adequate rest before getting behind the wheel. Take a break if you feel tired. If you are a professional driver, do not exceed the number of legal driver hours, and make sure your vehicle is roadworthy before you set off on your journey.”