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Two Men Jailed for Manslaughter after Road Traffic Accident

A mechanic and the owner of a haulage company have been jailed after a road traffic accident involving a truck with faulty brakes killed four people in 2015.

Incident

On 9 February 2015 an employee of Grittenham Haulage, 20 year old Phillip Potter, was driving the 32 tonne vehicle down a steep road in Bath when the brakes failed.

Mitzy Steady and her grandmother Margaret Rogers were struck by the truck as they crossed the road. Four year old Mitzy died during the incident and Mrs Rogers was seriously injured. She spent a total of three months in hospital for her injuries and required below the knee amputation of both legs.

After hitting the little girl and her grandmother, the truck careered into a vehicle parked at the bottom of the road before overturning. The three men in the car at the time, Stephen Vaughan, 34, Philip Allen, 52, and Robert Parker, 59, were all killed.

Safety Check “Wholly Inadequate”

Bristol Crown Court heard how Grittenham Haulage, owned by Matthew Gordon, was “a shambles from start to finish”.

Adam Vaitilingam QC, prosecuting, also told the court how recommended brake efficiency tests had not been carried out on the 11 year old vehicle. Vaitilingam added that the final safety check on the truck, carried out by mechanic Peter Wood, was “wholly inadequate”.

Sentencing

On Friday 27 January, Gordon, 30, and Wood, 55, were each convicted of four counts of manslaughter.
Gordon was handed a prison sentence of seven years and six months. Wood was sentenced to five years and three months.

Mr Justice Langstaff told the pair that the brakes were in an appalling state, adding that the lorry should not have been on the road. He told Gordon:

“You were not concerned for the public.”

Potter, the driver of the lorry, was cleared by a jury at Bristol crown court in December 2015.

Source: Guardian

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