Man who drove lorry up wrong side of M62 is jailed

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A lorry driver who drove on the wrong side of the M62, causing a collision between two other vehicles has been jailed.

Michael Hughes, 63, of Dunster Road, Stoke-on-Trent was jailed today for nine months at Liverpool Crown Court after admitting dangerous driving on September 7, 2016.

Hughes' lorry, which had been travelling on the westbound carriageway, crossed the central reservation of the M62 between junctions 8 and 7 at around 3.50pm and was driven on the wrong carriageway and onto the slip road at junction 7, Rainhill. Cars had to swerve to avoid him, and the driver of a white van on the motorway sustained back and neck injuries when his vehicle collided with another car also attempting to avoid the lorry.

The lorry was then driven on the wrong side of the A570 link way toward St Helens.

Police today welcomed the sentencing.

Police Constable Kurt Timpson said: “While one driver has been left with lasting injuries as a result of Hughes’ driving, it is miraculous that no one was more seriously hurt during this incident.

“After colliding with the central reservation, Hughes had plenty of time to stop the vehicle and seek assistance, but chose to continue his journey on the wrong side of the road, putting dozens of others drivers lives in danger.

“I would appeal to all drivers to find a safe place to stop if you begin to feel sleepy and follow the advice given by the Department of Transport's dedicated road safety website, with guidance and information for all road-users."

Merseyside Police has issued the following advice:

• Plan your journey to include a 15-minute break every two hours • Don't start a long trip if you're already tired
• Remember the risks if you have to get up unusually early to start a long drive
• Try to avoid long trips between midnight and 6am when you're likely to feel sleepy anyway
• If you start to feel sleepy, find a safe place to stop - not the hard-shoulder of a motorway. Drink two cups of coffee or a high-caffeine drink and have a rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow time for the caffeine to kick in
• Remember, the only real cure for sleepiness is proper sleep. A caffeine drink or a nap is a short-term solution that will only allow you to keep driving for a short time