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.

Truck racing deal agreed

Truck racing

Sport UK has announce it has reached an agreement with the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) to manage the commercial rights of the BTRA British Truck Racing Championship.

Truck Sport UK’s Stuart Oliver says “With immediate effect Truck Sport UK will promote market and manage all British Truck Racing activities. Truck Sport UK believes that British Truck Racing has great commercial potential and along with its partner, Road Transport Media, will work to expand the sport to a wider public and industrial marketplace.”

The 2020 Championship will comprise seven rounds, starting and finishing at Brands Hatch, and visiting Pembrey twice, Thruxton, Donington and Snetterton.

Alongside the racing, the successful “Convoy in the Park” event will return to Donington Park on 22/23 August together with two events new for 2020. “Convoy on the Plain” will be held at Thruxton on 27/28 June and “Convoy Cymru” at Pembrey on 3/4 October. More “Convoy” branded events are planned for 2021.

More information on the truck racing will shortly be available at www.btrc.co .