Crushed like a concertina and still waiting for justice
A driver left seriously injured when his car was crushed “like a concertina” by a lorry, is still waiting for justice, three years on.
James Bransby, aged 31, suffered a fractured spine and has had to spend the past three years at his family home in Wasperton, near Warwick, unable to continue with his job as commercial manager for a quarry in Yorkshire.
Mr Bransby was driving along the A64 near the Burythorpe Quarry in March, 2010, when his vehicle was hit by the lorry, driven by Michael Burkert, from Germany, who was subsequently arrested and charged with dangerous driving.
But when the court proceedings began Burkert, he denied the charge, claimed he was too unwell to appear in court because of a heart condition.
Instead he returned to Bad Berleburg, in Germany, and has never returned, despite police issuing an international arrest warrant for him 2011.
On Tuesday Mr Bransby said: “I didn’t want to force this lorry driver to court if he was genuinely sick but I do want to have my day in court and see him answer the charge put to him.
“Personally I am still unable to return to work, I can’t stand up for prolonged periods of time without my feet going numb and am undergoing therapy for my memory loss and concentration.”
Mr Bransby believes a loophole in the law is being exploited and urges the police and Crown Prosecution Service to resolve the matter.
Burkert was driving the lorry when it collided with a queue of traffic waiting at temporary traffic lights on the A64 near a place called the Highwayman Cafe.
Police said at the time that Mr Bransby - whose Volkswagen Lupo was at the back of the queue - was lucky to be alive as his car was crushed like a concertina.
At home at Wasperton, as he faces the third anniversary of the accident without a date in court, Mr Bransby said: “At some point you have got to say, if this lorry driver does have a heart condition and it’s not going to get better with time, what’s the resolution going to be?
“If this guy had just put his hands up in court the first time he would have got a fine and a ban. The last thing I heard was that he had a heart problem and that he was medically unfit to stand trial. Surely we should be contacting the Germany authorities to ask for his licence to be revoked because if he’s not fit to stand trial he’s not fit to drive a HGV.”
A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service would only confirm that an arrest warrant had been issued.
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