Sleeping lorry driver jailed after crashing onto the wrong side of the motorway
Terrifying footage taken from a dashcam has captured the moment a HGV driver crashed onto the wrong side of the M62 motorway – before driving into oncoming traffic for a mile.
Michael Hughes, 63, was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court after admitting falling asleep at the wheel. The footage from his own dashcam captured Hughes' lorry drifting across two lanes of the motorway and smashing through the central reservation between junctions seven and eight of the M62 motorway.
Hughes admitted that the impact with the crash barrier jolted him awake, but he continued driving. He continued the wrong way down the M62, eventually driving up the slip road at junction seven and attempting to continue his journey to Seaforth Docks.
During the mile he spent on the wrong side of the road, Hughes' lorry had several near misses with cars. He was also guilty of causing injury when a white van smashed into the rear end of another car in a bid to avoid the enormous HGV.
Hughes was jailed for nine months, after pleading guilty to dangerous driving. He has since been diagnosed with sleep apnea, a disorder which can cause tiredness during the day.
Nicholas Walker, defending, told the court Hughes had not driven in a 'cavalier' fashion, but instead simply panicked when he woke up and attempted to make the best of the situation.
"He will never get back behind the wheel of a HGV and at the age of 63 it has brought his career to an end and his working life to an end," said Walker.
Judge Robert Trevor-Jones, sentencing, said: "It all followed from your decision, and it was a decision, not to stop when you felt sleepy, to carry on and press ahead and make the delivery and keep the schedule. To take that decision was a fatal mistake for you.
"It's an absolute miracle... that something catastrophic didn't happen."