The family of a man who was left with a brain injury after a lorry crashed into him have spoken of their heartbreak after their lives changed forever.
Steven Hurst, 45, was left with a fractured skull and memory loss after a heavy goods vehicle crashed into his van on the A1 at Newark on 10 May 2018, at around 8.50am.
Colin Shaw, 70, was driving the heavy goods vehicle and had it on cruise control and hit the back of a Citroen van at 56mph, resulting in the driver suffering a serious head injury that left him in hospital for two weeks.
Mr Hurst, of Ordsall, Retford, suffered skull and facial fractures including a broken jaw and fractured skull, bleeding behind his right eye and a brain injury.
As a result, he suffered loss of eyesight in one eye and now suffers from memory loss more than three years on from the crash.
After the sentencing Steven’s family said: “We urge everyone to remain focused whilst they are driving, especially when driving vehicles of this size as any lack of concentration for any length of time can cause catastrophic consequences and change a family’s life forever as we have sadly come to know over the last three years.
“The collision changed our lives and we as a family urge all road users to pay attention on the roads ”
Shaw told police during his interview he reacted too late after suffering a sneezing fit.
However, he accepted the traffic was visible for up to half a mile and that he should have applied his brakes before the sneezes came on.
During his police interview he explained how he had travelled along this road before and how he began to sneeze and then looked up and heard a bang as he hit the victims stationary van in front of him.
Shaw admitted that he didn’t understand why he only applied his brakes at the last minute and couldn’t understand why he had perceived the road differently to everyone else.
He pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Shaw, of The Drive, Bingley, Bradford, appeared at Nottingham Crown Court today (28 September) and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 15 months.
He was also banned from driving for two years and ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work, abide by a curfew for six months and to take an extended retest.
Following the sentencing, case investigator Sophie Law, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:
“It’s the responsibility of every driver to ensure the safety of themselves and other road users.
“Shaw could see traffic up ahead of him but failed to read the road correctly. This had devastating consequences for the van driver he ploughed into.
“We urge drivers to take care on the roads at all times, to avoid devastating incidents such as this from happening.”