YouTube lorry driver keeps his licence

ITN News

by ITN News

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A lorry driver who was shown on YouTube driving along a motorway with a car trapped in front of his cab has been told he can keep his licence.

John Tomlinson was cleared of any wrongdoing and praised for being "cool and calm" in a crisis during a Traffic Commission hearing to decide if he should keep his HGV licence. Half a million people viewed the clip showing Mr Tomlinson's 40-tonne tanker pushing a Renault Clio at high speed along a motorway in Yorkshire.

The hearing was told the accident happened when the Clio driver attempted to undertake Mr Tomlinson's tanker in an "ill-advised" manoeuvre. Sean Joyce, Mr Tomlinson's solicitor, described how Rhona Jane Williams, a vet from York, was joining the south-bound carriageway of the A1 (M) at junction 44 when the incident happened at around 8.30am on January 13.

Quoting her statements to police, Mr Joyce explained that her lane of the slip road merged into the middle lane of the motorway. He added: "She saw Mr Tomlinson's HGV in the middle lane as she came off a slip road on to the carriageway. "She was effectively performing an undertaking manoeuvre as she joined the lane."

Ms Williams told police she felt a "bump" as the vehicles came together and her car pivoted 90 degrees. Mr Tomlinson remained unaware of the incident and continued driving until a motorist in a 4x4 pulled ahead of the vehicles and began flashing his hazard lights.

Mr Tomlinson, from Clitheroe, Lancashire, brought his lorry to a stop on the hard shoulder and only became aware of Ms Williams in the Clio when he got out of the vehicle. He tried to free her but the door was jammed so he reversed his tanker about three feet to release the car.