A lorry driver has been jailed after being found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.
On 9th December 2015, driver John Rogerson, aged 72, crashed into a JCB digger driven by Stephen Clarehugh on the A1 near Alnwick, Northumberland after he failed to see it ahead of the road. Accident experts stated that the JCB would have become visible to Mr Rogerson only 17 seconds before the crash occurred. Following the incident, Mr Rogerson failed a mandatory eye test, showing the extent of his poor eyesight, although he had been informed 2 weeks prior by his optician that his eyesight was no longer good enough for driving. Mr Rogerson also had a history of cataracts, diabetes and high blood pressure.
The JCB was hit with such force that it became airborne and landed down an embankment 45 metres away from the impact and the JCB caught on fire. Mr Clarehugh, who was a father of two and had recently become a grandfather, died at the scene due to multiple injuries.
Mr Clarehugh averted a tragedy in 2006 when he helped to land a plan with engine difficulties at Eshott Airfield in Felton, Northumberland. He was an extremely popular man with over 1,000 people attending his funeral.
Sgt Jason Ryder, of Northumbria Police, commented on the case: “The mandatory eye test shows that John Rogerson wasn’t fit to drive and the fact that he was behind the wheel of an HGV is particularly shocking for me. All of us, as drivers, have a huge responsibility every time we take to the road. If you are not fit to drive it can have devastating consequences as we have seen in this case.”
At Newcastle Crown Court, Mr Rogerson was jailed for 28 months and banned from driving for six years and 2 months.