Rubber-necking airman 'thankful to be alive' after causing A14 crash
PUBLISHED: 16:25 07 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:25 07 February 2020
A rubber-necking US airman crashed his car into the central reservation of the A14 after being distracted by an incident in the opposite carriageway.
Joshua Godin had to take evasive action to prevent causing a pile-up on the road after being sidetracked by the sight of police dealing with another incident in the opposite carriageway last summer.
The 27-year-old, of Coltsfoot Crescent, Bury St Edmunds, pleaded guilty by post to careless driving at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Friday.
Prosecutor Alex Morrison said the collision happened on July 5 last year on the A14 at Kentford, between Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket.
"At 3.59pm, the defendant drove a Honda Civic without due care and attention, in that he took his eyes off the carriageway to look at what police officers were doing in the opposite carriageway," he added.
"This caused him to brake to avoid a vehicle in front, and caused the vehicle to swerve, collide with the central reservation and spin across the lane."
The impact of the collision caused damage to the vehicle and central reservation barrier, the court heard.
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Mr Morrison said Godin was interviewed by officers at the scene of the crash and admitted being distracted from the road ahead.
The court heard Godin held a United States Air Forces Europe permit to drive in the UK, had been driving for 10 years and had never previously been involved in an accident.
In a letter of admission to the court, Godin said that the angle of the sun, and a glare from the paintwork of the car in front, had contributed to slowing his reaction time after readjusting his gaze.
"I decided to veer into the guardrail to prevent a pile-up," he added.
"Thankfully, I'm alive and no one else was hurt."
Godin was handed five penalty points and fined £550.
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: "We would always urge motorist to focus on the road ahead - a split second distraction, by not concentrating or looking elsewhere at another incident, could potentially be the cause of a further collision.
"Not concentrating and being distracted will give you less time to react to unforeseen hazards."