Careless’ bus driver fined over A14 crash

PUBLISHED: 12:03 11 October 2007 | UPDATED: 12:57 04 May 2010

A STAGECOACH bus driver who ploughed into the back of a lorry, resulting in 10 of his passengers being injured, still has no idea why the accident happened. Doctors are unsure whether Brian Bristow suffered a black-out as he drove along the A14, or lost h

A STAGECOACH bus driver who ploughed into the back of a lorry, resulting in 10 of his passengers being injured, still has no idea why the accident happened.

Doctors are unsure whether Brian Bristow suffered a black-out as he drove along the A14, or lost his memory as a result of the crash.

Tests have been carried out to see whether he suffered a stroke or a heart attack, and sun in his eyes may have also contributed to the crash, magistrates were told.

Bristow had previously admitted careless driving, and on Thursday, he was fined £200. Eight points were put on his licence and he must pay £60 costs.

"The bus crashed into the back of the lorry laden with timber, and then swerved across the middle lane and hit a Volvo vehicle in the third lane," said prosecutor Andrew Williams.

Most of the bus passengers' injuries were slight, but one suffered a fractured heel and neck and stomach injuries.

A witness said Bristow appeared to be "day dreaming" and had been driving "flat out."

Bristow, 54, of Cherry Rise, Sutton, has since had his vocational driving licence revoked, and lost his job.

Mitigating, Penny Grucock said: "Doctors are uncertain whether he had a black-out and could not see the lorry, or as a result of the collision, he lost his memory."

Although one witness said Bristow was driving "flat out," others estimated his speed at 50 to 55 mph.

"Most of the witnesses say the low sun was causing difficulty, and may have contributed, but it is more likely to have been a lapse of attention," she said.

"This has been a traumatic event for him, he feels terrible about it."

Presiding magistrate Kathy Bradney told Bristow: "You have admitted a lapse of concentration, that was a high level of carelessness.

"We have heard visibility was difficult, as a professional driver you should have taken that into account.

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