Essex: Driver Jailed For Fatal Crash

30 August 2013, 16:37 | Updated: 30 August 2013, 16:38

A lorry driver who had been on the road for 15 hours without a break when he caused a fatal crash in Essex has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

German national Anton Maizen ploughed his 40-ton lorry into a queue of traffic on the M25 near Aveley, killing a 79-year-old man and injuring two others.

Maizen, 58, of Wixhausen, south of Frankfurt, admitted one count of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was jailed for four-and-a-half years at Basildon Crown Court today.

The crash, on Tuesday, April 2, came after Maizen had been at work for nearly 23 hours - driving for 15 of those hours without a break.

Inspector Keith Whiting of Essex Police said: "We believe drivers and owners of foreign and British commercial lorries will take note from this tragic incident that those who disregard the law and the safety of vulnerable people in smaller vehicles around them will be brought to justice, face a prison sentence and a lengthy disqualification.

"We also believe that people who were disrupted for several hours as a result of this crash will appreciate that the complex and meticulous investigation undertaken by Essex Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit was justified and has successfully brought a driver to justice for causing one death and serious injury of two other road users."

Maizen's 840-mile journey had begun the previous day in Germany, with the driver entering the UK via Folkestone. He then drove to south London, before continuing on his way to Lincolnshire. He was returning to the Channel Tunnel when the crash took place.

During his police interviews, Maizen was unable to explain why he struck the rear of the queue at his maximum speed of 56mph. He hit a BMW, which contained a mother and her young son, propelling the vehicle into another lane and into the path of a second lorry - though both escaped serious injury.

Maizen's tachograph charts were found hidden behind the driver's seat and a data chart in his sock was later found disclosing his route and timings.

The German motorist was disqualified from driving for five years and ordered to take an extended driving test in order to regain his licence.