Great Harwood stolen lorry crash man jailed

Blackburn Citizen: OUT OF CONTROL The lorry landed on its side by the M65 OUT OF CONTROL The lorry landed on its side by the M65

AN electrician was lucky to be alive after he was hit by a stolen lorry as the driver tried to shake off the police, a court heard.

David Skett’s left leg was broken when, with no time to escape, he dived for his parked van as the lorry headed for him.

Mark Hill, accelerating at the wheel of the HGV, then struck the van as he careered up a narrow, cobbled street in Padiham, not caring who or what was in his way.

Hill, from Great Harwood, left his victim facing mobility problems. He eventually wrote off the £20,000 three-axle Foden vehicle after he sped on to the M65 motorway, lost control, shot up an embankment and rolled it on its side.

He was then arrested and lied repeatedly, claiming he had been a passenger, Burnley Crown Court was told.

A judge said it was a ‘miracle’ Hill hadn’t killed him with the lorry and locked the defendant up for two years. Hill, 24, who has a conviction for stealing a car from 2009, ended up in hospital as well.

He claimed he had been offered £500 to drive the HGV and, then jobless, wanted the cash to buy his son Christmas presents, so, according to his counsel, he could be a ‘proper father’.

The defendant, of Water Street, admitted dangerous driving, handling stolen goods, no insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, last December 16.

He was banned for three years and must take an extended driving test.

Tim Storrie, prosecuting, said the lorry, belonging to Stewart Robinson, had been taken from Whitby.

A police officer in Park Road, Padiham, saw the vehicle being driven by the defendant. He put on his lights and sirens and a pursuit began. Mr Storrie said the officer saw the stolen vehicle accelerate up Mill Street.

Mr Skett was to tell police he was standing in the road, looking at his van when the lorry approached.

The victim had no time to get away. He braced himself, felt the impact and the bone grating in his leg.

Ken Hind, for Hill, said he had been approached by someone who offered him £500 to drive the lorry. The barrister said: “He closed his eyes, effectively, to the obvious.”

Mr Hind said: “He is thoroughly ashamed of the way that he drove.”

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