Bridge debris scattered but lorry driver failed to stop
A lorry driver from Clutton who demolished a stone bridge and then drove off without even realising what he had done has been fined £215.
Mark Hillman was at the wheel of the 60-foot long vehicle, owned by a demolition company, when it crashed into the side of the bridge, leaving the road scattered with debris. A witness who followed the vehicle to get its registration number then saw a large coping stone fall off the back of the trailer into the road.
When the defendant was traced by police and interviewed, he said he realised he had hit something but thought that he had just clipped the bridge and so did not bother stopping.
Hillman, 38, of Upper Bristol Road, pleaded guilty to failing to stop after an accident at Mill Road, Barton St David, in January.
He was driving a Scania Articulated lorry for Weaver Demolitions when he had to drive through the village to deliver a piece of machinery.
Prosecutor Emma Chetland said a witness was walking on a nearby footpath.
She said: "There were signs at either end of the lane warning vehicles about potential grounding and she then saw a large goods vehicle pulling plant equipment on a trailer approach from the Baltonsborough direction and struck the bridge. He knocked down one side of it, leaving a large amount of debris on the road but no attempt was made to stop and the lorry continued on its way."
A man driving past at the time was flagged down by the witness who warned him about the debris and he followed the lorry and took down its registration number.
Neil Hinton, defending, said when driving such a large vehicle it was often very difficult to know what was going on at the back.
"He saw the warning signs about the risk of grounding on the humpback bridge but when he went over it, the tail end of the trailer caught the stonework," he said.
"He appreciated that something had been scraped but did not hear any noise, although what he should have done is stop to have a look.
"The trailer itself was about nine feet wide and it was a misjudgment by a highly experience and professional driver and he is very sorry it happened."
He was ordered to pay £100 costs and a £21 victim surcharge. No order was made for compensation.