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Truck driver banned after load hit man
6:00am Monday 4th November 2013 in News
A DRIVER who’s load fell from his truck, hitting a pedestrian and leaving him with serious head injuries, has been disqualified from driving.
Stephen Szpytma, 44, of Stoneleigh Park, Colchester, was driving along Hythe Quay when a wooden plank swung from his truck.
Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday it crossed the pavement, hitting a man in the back of his legs and causing him to fall backwards.
The victim hit his head badly on the pavement, fracturing his skull and leaving severe bruising.
Szpytma, who owns SP Scaffolding, in Gosbecks Road, previously had admitted by post using a vehicle with danger of injury due to the security of a load.
But magistrates summoned him to appear at court yesterday because the maximum penalty they could give, without Szpytma appearing, was three points on his licence.
At a hearing on October 4, magistrates said they wanted to consider disqualifying him from driving.
They had the option of making the sentence up to two years.
Instead yesterday magistrates banned him from driving for 28 days.
They did not give reasons for their decision.
Paul Tawn, mitigating, said: “The day in question was an ordinary working day.
“He gave the lorry a cursory glance to make sure all was in order.
“They then set off in the seven and a half ton lorry.
“Feeling a jarring he stopped immediately. He couldn’t say how it happened, whether someone had added an extra plank of wood to the lorry or if the load was somehow interferred with.”
The victim was not named but the court heard he could not remember the incident and suffered with memory loss.
Mr Tawn said the incident had made Szpytma “paranoid” about safety.
The court heard he had since installed two extra straps to secure loads, previously he had only used one.
Magistrates also head he had bought tarpaulin to cover the load in the back of the lorries.
Mr Tawn added: “Losing his licence will have a serious impact on his business.
“He has had a lot of sleepless nights not only as a result of the accident but since he received the letter about coming to court.”
As well as disqualifying Szpytma from driving, magistrates also ordered him to pay a £380 fine, £90 costs and a £38 surcharge.
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