Leiston coach driver Richard Harding banned from the roads after A120 crash left 14 injured

PUBLISHED: 09:59 19 December 2017

The scene of the crash on the A120 near Dunmow in Essex. Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND AMBULANCE

The scene of the crash on the A120 near Dunmow in Essex. Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND AMBULANCE

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A Suffolk coach driver has been given a two-year driving ban after being convicted of careless driving following a crash in Essex in which 14 people were injured.

Richard Harding, 34, of Station Road Leiston was driving a coach carrying 46 passengers when it collided with a stationary lorry on the A120, near Dunmow on June 8 this year.

The lorry, which had a flat tyre and was awaiting recovery, was in the inside lane of the westbound carriageway with its hazard lights on.

A court heard the coach was in collision with the rear offside of the lorry’s trailer.

Fourteen passengers were injured, two of them seriously.

One suffered a broken leg, required surgery for broken bones in her hand and one of her toes was amputated. Another woman suffered a fractured knee, a broken toe, dislocated hip, sprained ankle and bruised ribs.

The lorry driver also suffered minor injuries.

Harding was voluntarily interviewed following the collision and summonsed to appear at court to face a charge of careless driving.

He did not enter a plea or attend court and was found guilty in his absence at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on December 13.

He was banned from driving for two years, fined £660 and ordered to pay £90 court costs, a £66 victim surcharge.

Investigating officer Pc Gary Winfield said: “It was not clear why Mr Harding did not notice the lorry had broken down.

“Extensive damage was caused to both vehicles and 14 people were injured, two of whom spent a considerable time in hospital as a result of their injuries.”

“It is extremely fortunate no-one was killed.”

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