M5 lorry crash driver is ‘lucky to be here’

M5 crash which injured Walne.

M5 crash which injured Walne. - Credit: Archant

A LORRY driver who suffered ‘horrendous’ injuries in a motorway crash near Portishead has been fined £225 and had five points added to his licence.

Adam Walne, from Lancashire, was told by magistrates he was ‘lucky to be alive’ when he appeared at North Somerset Courthouse, in St Georges, on Friday.

The 30-year-old, of Scott Street in Burnley, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention on October 2 last year.

The court heard how Walne was driving the articulated vehicle on the southbound carriageway between junction 19 and 20 just before 7am when he swerved at the last minute to avoid another lorry.

Michael Collins, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was proceeding behind another lorry and neglected to either slow his speed or change lanes.

“At the very last minute he swerved and struck the corner of the flatbed vehicle and the defendant also collided with a van which bounced into the central barrier and hard shoulder.

“The defendant’s vehicle tipped over and skidded down the carriageway, completely losing control, before crashing through the central barrier and coming to rest across lane four southbound and lane three northbound.”

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Walne, who suffered back and neck injuries, had to be cut from the wreckage by emergency services and underwent several operations after the accident.

Walne, who represented himself in court, said: “I’m deeply sorry for the accident and all the destruction I caused.

“I didn’t know what speed the one in front of me was doing. The wagon was going a lot slower and that’s why I caught up so fast.

“Nevertheless, I still caused the accident that morning and if it wasn’t for the emergency services that attended, the consequences would have been a lot worse.

“Driving a lorry is my life. It’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was three years old.”

Walne, who works for Padiham haulage firm Fagan and Whalley, said he had no recollection of the accident, but only realised he had been in a crash when he was pulled from his vehicle.

Chair of the bench, Nick Baker, said: “I’ve read a description of the accident and it was horrendous.

“The potential of it doesn’t bare thinking about.

“It seems that just one person suffered - and that was you, not just psychologically but the horrendous physical injuries you’ve had. You are lucky to be here.

“I’ve read all the glowing references from everybody and the immaculate record you’ve got.

“It was down to momentary mishandling and inefficient attention to detail.”

Walne was also ordered to pay £22 victim surcharge and £85 costs.