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

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 - Credit: Archant

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.

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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.

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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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