Five years after fatal crash, lorry driver is finally sent to prison
A MOTHER from Ashford has spoken of the “hell” she and her family have suffered after a foreign lorry driver who caused her son’s death spent five years avoiding prison.
Herbert Glaesser, 57, from Germany, was making his first trip to the UK when he parked in the fast lane of the M26 near Wrotham in January 2005. He had mistaken the unlit stretch of motorway for the hard shoulder.
Stopping to read his map for just under two minutes he then pulled out across the lane with his trailer at 90 degrees.
Father-of-one Robert Gonzalez, from Hothfield, was fatally injured when he crashed into the unlit trailer in the darkness.
Mr Gonzalez’s family were only informed last week that Glaesser had finally been jailed in Germany on March 19, more than five years after the incident.
His mother Daphne, 69, said: “Nothing is ever going to bring Robert back but this has been like a boil, open and festering all these years and it’s left us without the opportunity to bring it to a close.
“The whole thing has been dragged out right from the start and it’s really been hell quite honestly.”
The railway maintenance worker, 42, was driving to Horsham with his workmates Darryl Lavender and Darren Verkuilen, who were also seriously hurt in the crash.
Mrs Gonzalez continued: “I’m pleased it’s finally happened but quite honestly this should have happened years ago.
“They knew where he lived and it’s not like he absconded. Considering we’re part of the EU it makes you wonder what we’re paying into it for.”
Robert, who has a daughter Antonia, 19, was taken to King’s College Hospital in London. Thirty-eight days after the crash his life support system was switched off.
Mrs Gonzalez said: “He had fiveand-a-half weeks of hell and we had to sit there watching him suffering.
“Robert couldn’t see the headlights and the trailer didn’t have any lights.
“The jury at the trial said if there had been lights he would probably still be alive today.
“New lorries have to have these lights but because his was an old one it didn’t. It’s not right.”
Crown Prosecution Service spokesman Victoria McEwan said: “A term of imprisonment of four years was fixed.
“The German authorities declared the execution of the sentence of imprisonment passed by Maidstone Crown Court as admissible.”