Five years af­ter fa­tal crash, lorry driver is fi­nally sent to prison

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Thom Mor­ris tmor­ris@thek­m­

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.”

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