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28 January 2015, 16:42
An recovery driver in an emergency refuge area narrowly avoids being killed by a lorry driver.
An RAC recovery driver securing a vehicle in an emergency refuge area narrowly avoids being killed by a lorry driver who swerves off the inside lane and across the hard shoulder, ploughing into the worker and breaking his back in two places, before driving off.
Released following the conviction of the lorry driver - 69-year-old Terence Poolman - the CCTV from the motorway captures the roadside mechanic’s brush with death on the M6 on 28 April last year.
While Poolman drove off, another lorry driver saw the worker in pain at the side of the northbound carriageway, between junctions six and seven, and pulled over to take care of the 40-year-old.
An investigation was then launched to find the driver of the offending vehicle, whose registration had not been picked up by the motorway cameras.
“Without a registration number, we knew it would be almost impossible to bring the driver to justice", said PC David Gaunt, who led the hunt for the hit-and-run driver.
PC Gaunt added: “The only lead we had was a branded catering van seen travelling directly behind Poolman’s lorry. We knew it was a long shot, but we decided to contact the company and ask them if any of their drivers had witnessed the incident and crucially, taken down the registration.
“Astonishingly, one of them contacted us to say he had done and from there, we were able to trace Poolman."
Poolman, of Beech Drive, Shifnal, was subsequently interviewed but claimed to have no memory of the collision whatsoever.
He was later charged with - and pleaded guilty to − causing serious injury by dangerous driving. Poolman was jailed last week (23 January) at Birmingham Crown Court for eight months and banned from driving for two years.
PC Gaunt said: “The recovery driver is extremely lucky to be alive and the consequences of Poolman’s complete lack of attention that day could have been a lot worse.
“The victim remains in a lot of pain and has been unable to work since the crash. The impact of his injuries will stay with him for the rest of his life and he worries about what kind of work he will be able to do in the future.
“In releasing the footage of the collision, we hope drivers will understand the responsibility they bear when they get behind the wheel and take steps − such as taking regular breaks, not starting a long trip if you’re tired or pulling over for a coffee − to ensure they are fully alert while driving."