Western Daily Press

HGV driver, 82, in hard shoulder crash on M4

- OLLIE BUCKLEY news@westerndai­lypress.co.uk

THE driver and passengers of a Hyundai escaped a terrifying incident when an 82-year-old man crashed his 44-tonne lorry into their car on the hard shoulder of the M4.

Dashcam footage showed Francis Nailor veering off the M4 and into the hard shoulder before colliding with the stationary car.

The Hyundai had suffered a flat tyre between junction 17 and 16 eastbound but the driver and the passengers were out of the vehicle.

The Hyundai was shunted into a ditch as Nailor continued to drive away.

He eventually came to a stop after travelling about 25 miles on the hard shoulder.

He was arrested and taken to Gablecross Police Station in Swindon while the lorry was recovered.

Nailor, of Small Lane, Stapleton, Bristol, had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of a collision at Swindon Magistrate­s’ Court at a previous hearing.

He was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for 12 months, at Swindon Crown Court, and ordered to pay costs.

According to a court report in the Swindon Advertiser Nailor’s barrister said he was suffering from Covidinduc­ed delirium.

He had recently driven his lorry to Italy where Covid was rife at the time.

He typically drove up to 2,500 miles per week and had passed a company medical weeks before.

All HGV drivers aged 45 or over have to renew their licence with the DVLA annually, but there is no upper age limit.

PC Alan King of Wiltshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit said: “This was an incredibly dangerous incident, in the dark, and it is only the goodwill of those members of public who put themselves at risk that there were no serious injuries or fatalities as a result of this.

“If they had not driven ahead to warn the occupants of the Hyundai, we would have had a far more tragic incident on our hands.

He said driving on the hard shoulder is illegal unless instructed to do so by police or in roadworks.

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