Stratford St Mary: Lorry driver fined after ploughing through hedge at accident blackspot on A12

The A12 at Stratford St Mary

The A12 at Stratford St Mary

A LORRY driver whose vehicle left the road and ploughed through a hedge into a field at an A12 “accident hotspot” has been fined after she admitted careless driving.

Charlie Pickle was charged with dangerous driving following the incident at Stratford St Mary in June 2011 and pleaded not guilty at a trial at Ipswich Crown Court last year.

The jury was discharged after failing to reach a verdict and yesterday the prosecution accepted her guilty plea to a less serious offence of careless driving.

Fining her £450 Judge John Devaux said Pickle, of Southampton, had offered a guilty plea to careless driving earlier in the proceedings and this had not been accepted.

In addition to fining 45-year-old Pickle, he ordered her to pay £85 costs and endorsed her driving licence with five penalty points.

During Pickle’s trial last year, the court heard that a motorcyclist who was driving behind her on the Ipswich-bound carriageway in the Colchester area shortly before the accident was so worried about her driving that he stopped at the roadside and dialled 999 on three occasions.

The lorry, which was carrying an empty container on a trailer, left the road and ploughed through a hedge on a long bend at Stratford St Mary. It remained upright and no other vehicle was involved.

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Lawrence Aiolfi, for Pickle, said the crash was the result of a “lapse of concentration”.

He said at the time of the incident her lorry was on cruise control at 50mph.

Mr Aiolfi described the area as an “accident hotspot” and said Pickle had only driven on that stretch of road once before.