Father of two dies after lorry driver suffers lapse at wheel

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By Walsall Advertiser | Friday, August 10, 2012, 09:00

"KIND and generous" dad-of-two Mark Roberts died after a lorry driver suffered a 'momentary lapse in concentration' and ploughed into the back of queuing traffic.

Matthew Broadley's 18 ton Renault Tipper lorry collided with the 46-year-old's Peugeot on the M6 slip road at Walsall. Mr Roberts, who had to be cut free, was released from hospital after treatment but died six days later at his home in Willenhall.

It was a "tragedy that no-one could have foreseen" said Judge Amjad Nawaz as he sentenced Broadley to a 26 week jail term suspended for 18 months.

Wolverhampton Crown Court was told a post-mortem examination revealed Mr Roberts died from a delayed haemorrhage and trauma from the accident which was acknowledged as "very unusual".

He was found dead at his home by his wife Julie when she returned from work.

Judge Nawaz said it was a "difficult" case and stressed no sentence he could pass would make up for the tragic loss of Mr Robert's life and the fact he would be missed forever by his family. The court heard Mr Roberts' family had provided 'heartfelt and moving' victim impact statements in which his daughter had described him as "funny, kind and generous".

Broadley, who was a driver for S & B Waste Management and Recycling in Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mr Roberts by driving carelessly.

Mr Nigel Wilkins prosecuting said it was accepted Broadley had lost concentration for a moment as he approached the line of waiting traffic, having wrongly assumed they would move forward without difficulty when lights changed to green.

But the court heard the vehicle at the head of the queue stalled and when Broadley, 31, looked again he realised he had misjudged the situation and he pushed the Peugeot car into the back of the vehicle on front.

In addition to the suspended sentence, the father-of-two of The Vista, Sedgley, Dudley was ordered to carry out 200 hours community punishment and also disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Miss Michelle Brown defending said Broadley, who had worked as a HGV driver for nine years and averaged 50,000 miles a year, recognised how badly the Roberts family had been affected by the tragedy.

She said: "He has struggled to come to terms with what happened.

"It was a very strange and tragic set of circumstances that are difficult to understand."

After the accident Broadley was seen by police and he had agreed to go on the Driver's Improvement Course. It was only after Mr Roberts died that he was charged.

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