Crash into pub landmark ‘sounded like bomb had gone off’, court told
PUBLISHED: 14:20 29 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:18 30 October 2018
A truck driver has admitted failing to stop at the scene of destruction he caused to a Grade I listed Suffolk landmark.
Tamer Alcar’s Scania lorry collided with the Bell and Steelyard pub’s weighbridge – one of two left in the country – above New Street, in Woodbridge, at about 7am on April 10.
The 50-year-old failed to stop at the scene of the crash, which caused more than £10,000 worth of damage, but was eventually tracked down to a lay-by on the A14 later the same day.
Appearing before magistrates in Ipswich on Monday, the father-of-four admitted careless driving and failing to stop after an accident.
Resident landlord Hugh Thomas was woken by a bang so loud it sounded “like a bomb had gone off”, prosecutor Tess Mann told the court.
“He went outside to see half the material on the ground and the rest hanging over the road – but no vehicle present,” she added.
“CCTV showed a green Scania with the website of Cartwright Brothers down the side.
“The vehicle was later found in a lay-by on the A14, where the driver was spoken to.
“The defendant was interviewed and reported for the two charges.”
Tamer, of Caistor Close, Lincoln, had driven on a clean HGV licence for 10 years before the crash, the court heard.
Andrew Cleal, representing the Turkish national as duty solicitor, asked magistrates to give full credit for his prompt guilty pleas and voluntary police interview – while not under arrest – during which he recalled hearing a noise but seeing nothing in the rear view mirror to cause concern.
“He was driving a vehicle combination, carrying a trailer, with which he wasn’t familiar,” added Mr Cleal.
“It’s apparent he could have taken more care when driving on a road where there was a warning sign.”
Magistrates heard that Tamer drove between 40 and 45 hours each week around the UK – doing so since 2008 without incident.
“You are dealing with a man of good character, with a very good driving record,” said Mr Cleal.
Magistrates handed Tamer seven penalty points for careless driving. His licence will be endorsed for failing to stop at the accident, but he will face no separate penalty for the offence.
He was also fined £544 and ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £54 statutory fee towards victim services.