Repair Bill For Van Driver Who Got Stuck Under Ely Bridge

PUBLISHED: 10:50 11 May 2010 | UPDATED: 13:31 02 June 2010

van driver faces repair bill after getting stuck under bridge

van driver faces repair bill after getting stuck under bridge

A VAN driver was left with a mechanics repair bill totalling £4,000 after failing to take note of a set of height warning signs and getting his van stuck under a bridge. Gerard Thraves, 53, was discussing the meaning of the warning signs with his passeng

A VAN driver was left with a mechanics' repair bill totalling £4,000 after failing to take note of a set of height warning signs and getting his van stuck under a bridge.

Gerard Thraves, 53, was discussing the meaning of the warning signs with his passenger on a trip to Wisbech on December 5 when he realised his mistake too late and became stuck under the rail bridge at Ely Rail Station.

In a letter to the magistrates, Thraves explained that he had become distracted by the signs and by discussions with his brother, who was in the vehicle with him at the time, and realised the danger too late.

Worried about other vehicles running into the back of the van if he broke too sharply, Thraves eased onto the brake in an attempt to stop but reacted too late to avoid hitting and becoming wedged under the bridge.

Recovery crews were called to help free the vehicle, which Thraves had hired to help move some furniture for his mother, but despite their best efforts he was left with a repair bill for £4,000.

The court was told that the railway bridge at Ely Railway Station measured nine feet in height while Thraves' van measured 10ft 5inches.

Taking into account his guilty plea for driving without due care and attention, magistrates in Ely fined Thraves, of Brewer Street, Tunbridge Wells, £400 and ordered him to pay £35 costs along with a £15 surcharge. Three points were also added to his licence.

Magistrate Janet South, said: "This is a very difficult bridge as we all know but there are plenty of warning signs.

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