Motorist Killed after HGV Driver Pulls up on A19

An HGV driver has been convicted of causing death by dangerous driving after a motorist collided with his lorry that had stopped on an unlit stretch of the A19.

Marcel Balan’s dangerous decision behind the wheel resulted in the death of 24-year-old John Robinson, who was travelling behind in a Ford Fusion and collided with the back of the stationary HGV.

Police said the impact in the pitch black conditions on the road near Sunderland in March 2019 saw the lorry pushed forward eight metres as the car went underneath it.

Balan, 57, was convicted following an eight-day trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

The court heard Balan was travelling southbound on the A19 carriageway, but after driving past the turn-off for the A1231 Wessington Way, he made the decision to stop his lorry in the inside lane of the carriageway.

Seconds later, Robinson’s car collided into the back, causing fatal injuries.

Upon arrest, Balan claimed he had come to a gradual stop because he had heard a noise in his lorry and feared his cargo had come loose.

This was contradicted by the data from his vehicle’s tachograph and dashcam footage, and there was no evidence of his load being insecure.

Sergeant Steve Armstrong, of Northumbria Police said: “Balan’s actions that night were irresponsible and incredibly dangerous.

“The laws of the road are not optional, they are not negotiable – they are there to keep people safe and by ignoring them Balan directly put the lives of Mr Robinson and other road users in danger.

He will be sentenced on 7 February.

Cartwright launches new fridge trailer for the air cargo market

Cartwright's new Air Cargo trailer

Altringham-based Cartwright, in collaboration with Dutch family trailer manufacturer Burgers Carrosserie, has launched a new fridge trailer for the European air cargo market.

Revealed in Aalsmeer near Amsterdam, the 10-tonne trailer has a 15-tonne kingpin and a high tensile steel chassis neck. Inside, there’s a roller bed system with an auto down safety feature, which lowers the rollers to ensure to pallets are on the floor when in transit. Carrier Transicold's Vector HEV 19 Mono refrigeration system ensures the trailer remains cool.

Its internal width of 2,495mm  allows for 33 Euro pallets or 2 x 3,000mm high and 2 x 2,900mm high air cargo pallets. Cartwright says the trailer has been designed to “carry various products from pharmaceutical items, general freight and different air cargo pallets.”

Cartwright’s sales manager, Jeroen Kusters, said: “We have identified a need for a new player in the sector and we believe this new Cartwright fridge trailer can fill this gap in the market.”

The cost of the trailer may vary - one Cartwright spokesperson said: “This [the cost] is dependent on the final specification; while the core of the trailer is standard, the customer has many options to personalise the finished product to their exact specification.”

Cartwright has since received its first order for the new tri-axled unit, which will see the trailer operated across the Benelux and throughout Germany.

Kusters added: “Our next step this year will be to demonstrate the fridge trailer in Germany where we believe there is great potential for this new trailer.”

Cartwright said that, with regards to bringing the trailer to the UK, its “fifth wheel height is 1,050mm and is designed to meet the European requirement to operate under the 4m threshold while offering the maximum capacity.”