Driver sentenced after workman crushed in Northumberland

A lorry driver has been sentenced after a delivery of roof trusses fell off his trailer and crushed and paralysed a passing workman in Northumberland.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 1st February 2018, 3:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st February 2018, 4:06 pm
Paul Turnbull was badly injured in the incident.
Paul Turnbull was badly injured in the incident.

Fraser Rowand, 37, was transporting the trusses from his base in Catterick, North Yorkshire, to the Forget Me Not Country Park, near Longhorsley.

He had arrived at the site at around 10.30am on January 18, 2016, and unloaded some of the timber trusses on to the site.

Fraser Rowand

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He then drove the lorry to a different part of the site but at this point some of the trusses fell off the back of the trailer.

Paul Turnbull, 39, who lives in Forest Hall, was working as a labourer on the site and pushed some of his colleagues out of the way of the falling trusses. But he was forced faced down on to freshly-laid, hot asphalt and crushed under the weight of the timber.

Mr Turnbull was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and underwent emergency surgery. He survived but has been left scarred for life and paralysed from the waist down.

A police investigation was launched in the aftermath of the accident and later Rowand was charged by police with causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Mr Turnbull suffered facial injuries.

He denied the charges but was then found guilty by a jury following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court on November 20.

Now Rowand, of Salveson Gardens, Edinburgh, has been handed a 20-month jail term, suspended for two years, by a judge.

He has also been banned from driving for three years as police praised Mr Turnbull for his 'heroic actions' on the day he was injured.

Following the case, he said he would 'never want another family to go through the despair and torment' that he has had to suffer since the incident.

The scene

He said: "After months of heartache for me and my family, the man responsible for my accident has been found guilty.

"No matter what happens, no amount of time will ever make up for the fact I have been left paralysed which has resulted in my life changing forever, as well as the day to day lives of my family members who care for me.

"I would never want another family to go through the despair and torment that we have all experienced since the day of this incident.

"No sentence will ever give me the life back that I had before this day, but this is about holding an individual responsible for his dangerous actions.

Fraser Rowand

"I would like to thank the people that have supported me and my family since the accident especially my family liaison officer who has been a great support to us all."

Motor Patrols Sergeant, Lynne McKevitt, said: "Mr Turnbull has suffered life-changing injuries as a result of this incident and it has had a devastating impact on him and his family.

"It was Mr Rowand's responsibility to ensure that the trusses were properly secured to the lorry that day. When he drove into the caravan park he was putting lives in danger by failing in his responsibilities.

"The outcome could have been fatal for Mr Turnbull and had it not been for his own heroic actions in acting quickly to push a colleague from danger, the consequences could have been even more significant.

"Ultimately, this case should act as a stern warning to those working in this type of industry, about the importance of ensuring your load is properly secured before getting behind the wheel of your vehicle."

Mr Turnbull suffered facial injuries.
The scene