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‘Catastrophic’ A49 crash happened when driver fell asleep at wheel

By Deborah Hardiman | Bayston Hill | Crime | Published:

A driver admitted falling asleep at the wheel resulting in a ‘catastrophic’ head-on crash near Shrewsbury.

A Peugeot driven by Philip Lloyd, 68, veered into the path of a Nissan the A49 near Bayston Hill, resulting in both drivers suffering serious injuries at about 3pm.

Nissan driver Mark Leeming suffered a broken pelvis, chest bruising and pain in the crash at about 3pm on July 30 last year.

Telford Magistrates Court heard that Lloyd, a hobby farmer of Bronygarth, Oswestry, later told police that he felt his head “nodding” before the collision.

Miss Sara Cooper, prosecuting, said: “On July 30 last year a collision occurred between two vehicles on the A49 near Bayston Hill, just south of Shrewsbury. Mark Leeming was travelling southbound at about 50mph.

“His wife was the front-seat passenger and the vehicle was fitted with a front-facing dash cam that recorded the collision.

“Philip Lloyd was driving northbound on the A49 behind an HGV that was moving at a speed of about 50mph. His Peugeot drifted to his off side and into the path of Mr Leeming’s Nissan. There was catastrophic damage to the vehicles.”

“In the aftermath a witness who attended to Lloyd and asked him what happened. His reply was, 'I must have dropped off. I was staying at my daughter’s over the weekend. I didn’t sleep very well and I felt tired'."

Miss Cooper said the woman then asked him, “Why didn’t you stop?” He replied that he had stopped earlier during the journey from Somerset to Oswestry.

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Lloyd suffered a broken leg and rib in the crash.

Mr Douglas Lloyd, defending, said: “He is 68 and has a clean licence. He made a full and frank admission that the cause of the collision was him nodding off.

“He was injured himself and expresses his apologies to the victim.

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“He is effectively stuck on the farm due to the injury. As for compensation, civil proceedings are ongoing.”

The court also heard that Lloyd was fully aware that he was in an unfit state to drive regarding the time and distance he had travelled. It also heard that the A49 was not his normal route for that journey.

Lloyd pleaded guilty at the hearing on Wednesday to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Chairman of the bench Nicola Hughes jailed Lloyd for 16 weeks suspended for two years for the offence. He was also banned from driving for two years and must resit the driving test before returning behind the wheel. He must pay costs £185 and pay a victims' surcharge of £115.

A separate offence of dangerous driving was withdrawn.

Following the crash the A49 was closed for several hours and the air ambulance was scrambled to the scene.

Both men were taken to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. Mrs Leeming suffered minor injuries.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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