Lorry driver handed community order after crane killed cyclist

F100C000-9CA4-4322-9301-61F030D12887

A HGV driver has been handed a 12 month community order following the death of an elderly cyclist who was struck by an insecure crane.

Stephen Moorman pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to causing the death of Ella Murray, 70, by careless driving following the tragic collision in Shirley on 24th March in 2014.

The 49-year-old was handed a 12 month community order and told to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work for the community.

The court heard how Moorman was the driver of a flatbed Scania HGV lorry which was fitted with a Hiab crane at the rear of the vehicle.

The lorry was laden with building materials which were to be delivered to various addresses in Birmingham.

It was just before his third delivery of the day that tragedy struck.

Moorman began to stow away the supporting legs, but he failed to ensure that the nearside leg of the crane was properly secured.

He set off and as he turned into Peterbrook Road in Shirley, the unsecured crane leg rolled out.

Moorman began to overtake Mrs Murray, who was riding her pedal cycle.

As he did so, the leg struck her, knocking her to the ground.

Moorman continued with his journey, only stopping when the crane leg hit a tree.

It was only then he realised that the leg was unlocked and became aware of the victim on the road.

Paramedics were called and she was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she died from her injuries.

An investigation was launched and although no fault was found with the HGV, experts found several faults with the crane.

Police and inspectors from VOSA and HSE visited the premises of Buildland Ltd in Redditch to examine the company’s vehicles and paperwork concerning health and safety procedures.

It was later discovered that the company did not hold any valid certificates of examinations for their vehicles and a number of them had faults.

The director of Buildland Limited, Rugbir Jutla, 54 and the company itself pleaded guilty for failing to conduct an undertaking that persons not in its employment are exposed to health or safety risks, and failing to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of risks to health and safety.

On 13th March this year at Birmingham Crown Court the company was fined £300,000 and costs of £25,687, and Jutla was jailed for 21 months and ordered to pays costs of £25,687.

Neil Fielding, from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service’s Complex Casework Unit, said: “This has been a complex and difficult case involving evidence from various experts and agencies whose valuable support greatly assisted the prosecution team in bringing these individuals to justice.

“Rugbir Jutla and his company owed a duty of care to their employees and members of the public. They failed to meet this requirement and allowed vehicles, which had not been examined for their safety on to a public highway.

“Stephen Moorman was the driver of one of these vehicles. He failed to follow the right procedure when stowing the crane away and as a result, the leg of the crane was not correctly secured, became loose and struck a cyclist, killing her.

“Our thoughts are today with the family and friends of Ella Murray.”

Read more: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/lorry-driver-handed-community-order-14845566