Man jailed for causing death of lorry driver - Hoddesdon

27/11/2015

A driver, who caused a crash in which a lorry driver died in his burning cab, fled from the scene.

Moments before the crash, Glen Bright is said to have been driving aggressively as he tailgated and drove around one vehicle.  Witnesses said it was as if he was trying to push the motorist off the road.

In the end, he couldn't stay in control of his own car on a long bend and struck the lorry, causing it to smash into the concrete support of a bridge and burst into flames.

Hungarian lorry driver Sandor Vaczi, aged 37, who was behind the wheel of the Sainsbury's lorry, found himself trapped in the cab as the flames took hold and died in the blaze. Other drivers got out of their cars to try and help but couldn't get anywhere near the burning lorry, such was the intensity of the fire. But 30-year-old Bright, whose own car was a wreck, made off on foot. He went to various pubs to drink, St. Albans Crown Court was told.

Today, Friday, 27 November 2015, Bright, of Brickenden Court, Chapel End, Hoddesdon, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

Judge Stephen Warner jailed him for five years and nine months and disqualified him from driving for five years.

Colin Banham, prosecuting, told how on the evening of 24 February this year at around 6.30pm the defendant was driving his blue Vauxhall Astra Estate north along the A10 towards Hoddesdon in Herts. As he got onto the slip road to come off the road heading towards the town, he was driving aggressively, the court was told, tailgating other vehicles and undertaking and overtaking to get past them. The driver of one car that Bright first tailgated and then overtook had to brake hard, and witnesses were to later tell police it was as if Bright had been trying to push the vehicle off the road.

Mr Banham said Bright reached the top of the slip road and then turned east over the A10 and onto the Dinant Link Road, where his driving continued to be aggressive. The court was told it was on a long bend that Bright lost control of his car as it travelled at speeds in excess of 65 mph. It veered to the right, struck a kerb and then veered left into the lorry being driven by Mr Vaczi. The Volvo lorry then crashed into the concrete support of the Langton Bridge and caught fire. Mr Vaczi, a father of two young daughters, was trapped in his burning cab and died.

Judge Warner was told that Bright, rather than remain at the scene, made off on foot, as other motorists stopped but were unable to get near the burning lorry.

The court was told Bright was arrested the next day and, on legal advice, made no comment to all questions asked of him by officers.

Michael McAlinden, defending, described Bright as a "broken man" who, since that night, had turned to alcohol to cope with what happened.

Passing sentence, Judge Warner told him: "The driver of the lorry tragically died in horrific circumstances." The Judge said it was an aggravating feature in the case that Bright had fled the scene and gone to a number of local pubs to consume alcohol. He told Bright that he must take an extended driving test before he is allowed to drive again and his licence will be endorsed.

Please note - all court copies are provided by South Beds News Agency, who retain the copyright for all articles published.