Driver 'thankful to be here' after HGV flipped and smashed through barrier in scary motorway crash
A lorry driver involved in a terrifying motorway crash that saw his fully-laden truck flip onto its side and smash through a central reservation before sliding toward traffic on the opposite carriageway said he was grateful even to be alive afterwards.
Ruyton-XI-Towns man Tobias Firmin's Volvo lorry hit another HGV's rear driver side when he braked to avoid a van braking in front of him.
The chain reaction caused his vehicle to bounce off the DAF lorry violently, flip onto its side and plough through the central reservation towards oncoming traffic in the far carriageway.
Mr Firmin, 24, said he felt "thankful to still be here" after the crash, which happened on the M1 in Northamptonshire on December 28 last year.
He was charged with driving without due care and attention, but was cleared of any wrongdoing by magistrates this week after they watched CCTV footage proving his claim that the crash was caused by a van in front of him braking suddenly and without warning.
Northampton Magistrates Court heard the case on Thursday.
Prosecutor Mr Shabbir Issat set out the facts agreed by all parties, those being that Mr Firmin, of Marches Meadow, was the driver of a lorry that was involved in a crash on the M1 at Rothersthorpe between 7.30am and 8am on December 28.
Representing himself in court, Mr Firmin said he was driving northbound, coming towards the end of his first shift back at work after Christmas, and was within his permitted driving hours.
He described deciding to overtake the lorry in front of him as he was moving faster - though he noted that his lorry's speed was limited to 56mph - and moving out from behind it in the leftmost lane and into the second lane.
He said that as he had almost completed the overtake, a "caddy van" in front of him in the second lane suddenly braked.