Trucker caught driving almost 90mph on A66 is sentenced

A trucker clocked at almost 90mph on a main Cumbrian road has been handed a suspended jail term and banned from driving.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how a police speed detection van caught Stanley James Yeagers' laden Mercedes HGV travelling downhill at 89mph as it overtook a car on the A66 westbound at Stainmore, near Brough, at 12:18pm on June 10 2018.

Despite being fitted with a 56mph limiter, his lorry was almost 30mph above the legal top speed for the vehicle on that stretch of road before sudden braking occurred.

Prosecutor Jon Close told the court how the vehicle's electronic stability control - designed to reduce control loss - had "fortunately" kicked in.

"Without it there was a risk the HGV was going to jack-knife," he said, "with potentially disastrous consequences."

Credit: Court reporter

Yeagers initially denied dangerous driving but admitted the offence and had a two-month jail term suspended for a year.

Judge Andrew Jefferies QC heard there had been no incident, damage or injury caused on the day. Yeagers had no previous convictions, cautions or reprimands to his name, nor points on his licence, before committing an offence which, it was said, would have a "devastating" impact and end his long career as a lorry driver in the UK and abroad.

He told a probation officer of his remorse for "11 seconds of madness that he wishes never happened".

Passing sentence, Judge Jefferies told him: "You of all people, with your years of experience, must know there is a very good reason why vehicles of that size are limited to 56mph." He added: "It doesn't need me to spell out what catastrophic consequences could have arisen.

"You know - and you fully accept that now - just how dangerous that 11 seconds of madness could have been, and was."

Yeagers, of Harlestone Court, Grimsby, was banned from driving for a year and must pass an extended re-test.

"Such manner of driving is clearly outside the scope of simply being dealt with as an excess speed offence and the footage was passed to specialist roads policing officers in the Mobile Support Group and experts in the Collision Investigation Unit.

Sergeant Graeme Hodgson, Cumbria police collision investigation unit