Fatal coupling incident sees YCT fined £170,000

Fifth wheel


Tilbury-based container haulier YCT, which trades as Youngs Container Transport, has been fined £170,000 after a driver was crushed between two trucks at its site.

The HGV driver suffered fatal injuries in October 2015 when his truck rolled forward while he was coupling a tractor unit to a trailer at the firm’s site in Thurrock Park Way.

The HSE said YCT had failed to monitor arrangements to ensure that drivers were consistently coupling and uncoupling trailers in a safe manner and in line with industry guidance.

It said that as a result of the company’s failure to implement safe systems of work, a culture developed whereby drivers were not always using trailer parking brakes.

YCT pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Southend Magistrates Court on 5 October. It was fined £170,000 with £6,268.80 in costs.

HSE inspector Jessica Churchyard said: “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man, and was caused in part by the failure of his employer to implement and monitor safe systems of work to prevent vehicle runaways.

“This death could have easily been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and followed the industry guidance.”


Cigarette smuggling truck driver who fled UK sent to prison


A lorry driver who attempted to smuggle 1.7 million cigarettes into the UK before absconding to Poland has been sent to prison.

Mariusz Chorazy, who is based in Kolobrzeg, Poland, was caught driving a truck with eight pallets of non-duty paid cigarettes hidden amongst legitimate freight at Dover Eastern Docks in August 2013.

An investigation by HMRC found that the truck had taken a 130km detour after picking up freight from Switzerland, travelling through Belgium to pick up the cigarettes in the Netherlands. He then headed to Dunkirk to board a ferry to Dover.

HMRC estimated that he had attempted to avoid paying £404,000 in excise duty by smuggling the cigarettes into the UK.

It emerged that Chorazy had left the UK when he failed to answer bail in November 2013. He was apprehended by Polish authorities in June, and extradited to the UK.

Upon returning to the UK, he was charged with evading excise duty and remanded in custody at Margate Magistrates' Court.

He pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court on 7 September. He was sentenced to two years in prison at the same court on 4 October.

Judge Adele Williams said the case was a “very serious matter” and said he should be deported upon his release from prison.