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Truck driver fined after shedding unsecure load and closing the A5 on the Shropshire border

Oswestry | News | Published:

A busy road was closed and it took more than two hours to clear after a load of chipboard being carried from a factory on the Shropshire border fell off the back of a lorry, a court heard.

The boards valued at £8,000 had not been secured at the Kronospan factory in Chirk and came off the curtain sided Scania articulated truck at the nearby Whitehurst roundabout on the A5.

Truck driver Stephen Arthur Griffiths, 55, was dismissed on his first day driving for the L E Jones haulage company at Ruthin following the spillage.

He claimed he had not realised that he had lost his load and continued driving.

A motorist who witnessed the incident stopped him and told him what had happened and pointed out that the side curtains of the vehicle trailer were ripped.

But after examining the trailer, Griffiths decided to continue with the remainder of the load to Liverpool, got lost, and was stopped on the M6 motorway by police.

Flintshire Magistrates Court at Mold was told that the road was closed and it took two hours for a group of 15 workers from Kronospan to remove the 17 tonnes of chipboard

Griffiths, who lives in a flat in Bath Street in Rhyl, admitted carrying an insecure load likely to cause a danger, failing to stop and failing to report the accident on July 16 last year.

He escaped with a £100 fine – £50 for the insecure load and £50 for failing to stop.

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He received no separate penalty for failing to report the accident and was ordered to pay £105 in costs. Five penalty points were put on his licence.

Magistrates said that he had learnt a hard lesson and that he should check his load in future.

The defendant had been arrested and appeared from custody after he failed to attend an earlier hearing but Mr Phillip Lloyd Jones, for Griffiths, said that his client had not known about the proceedings because the paper work had been sent to another address.

Mrs Helen Tench, prosecuting, said that it was in the middle of the day that the lorry shed its load but the driver drove on. A member of the public raised the alarm and when the transport manager from Kronospan attended the scene he found that 17 tonnes of the load valued at £8,000 was in the road and it took 15 workers two hours to clear up the debris. It was a total loss, she said.

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When stopped on the M6 the vehicle was taken to a place of safety, the employers were contacted and another driver was sent to pick it up.

Mr Lloyd Jones said it was his client's case that he had received no instructions on his first day in the job but was told to take the tractor unit of the truck to the factory to pick up a trailer which was already loaded.

When he got there he was shown the trailer and hitched it up. But he accepted that he was responsible as the driver of the vehicle and should have checked if the load had been properly secured.

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