HGV Driver Jailed For Fatal Northumberland Crash

A lorry driver has been jailed for causing a crash on the A1 in Northumberland which killed a man.

72-year-old John Rogerson has been sentenced to 28 months in prison and disqualified from driving for 6 years, 2 months following the crash on the A1 near Alnwick on December 9th 2015.

He had been travelling down from Scotland when he failed to spot the JCB  being driven by 54-year-old Stephen Clarehugh. The father-of-two was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

An investigation was launched by Northumbria Police's Motor Patrols department at which point Rogerson failed a mandatory eye test.

Now Senior Investigating Officer Sergeant, Jason Ryder, said:

"This was yet another avoidable death on the roads that has robbed a family of a loving father, grandfather and husband and changed their lives forever.

"The mandatory eye test shows that John Rogerson wasn't fit to drive and the fact that he was behind the wheel of an HGV is particularly shocking for me”

“All of us, as drivers, have a huge responsibility every time we take to the road.  If you are not fit to drive it can have devastating consequences as we have seen in this case.

“I want to appeal to any driver who knows or believes they may not be medically fit to drive, to stop and think about their responsibility and  seek the appropriate help”

“I also want to appeal to friends and families of drivers, who feel they are not fit to drive, to encourage them to seek the appropriate medical assistance."

"Too many times officers are having to speak about collisions that could have been prevented if drivers had given consideration to fellow road users.

"I want to praise the bravery of Stephen's family through what must have been a very testing year.

"Hopefully this collision can make road users in the same position as Mr Rogerson think twice about getting behind the wheel."

In a family statement, Stephen's wife, Fiona Clarehugh, paid tribute to the father-of-two and grandfather-of-one who was well known in 

North East to the flying and microlight communities following his time as an instructor.

She said: "It is such a bitter irony that a man who spent thousands of hours safely teaching people to fly, in an environment thought by so many to be so dangerous, should be tragically killed in a road traffic accident – so much life, ended in the blink of an eye.

"Steve was a very special person to whom everyone instantly warmed. He was a larger than life character who touched so many people with his fabulous zest for life and his great sense of humour. However, if I could use one word to describe him it would be ‘mischievous’.

"He did what he wanted to do and was passionate about, living life to the full –  he was a self made man in the true sense of the word. He was a big man with big hands that loved his food, beer and whiskey and embraced life.

"Steve’s death saddened more than a community, hundreds of sympathy cards, letters and flowers were delivered. Over 1,000 people attended his funeral, which was held in an aircraft hanger.

"We will miss his humour, his loyalty, his love and his friendship, his integrity, his wisdom, his ability to do the right thing and his... mischievousness."

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