HGV driver fined after overturning on Mersey Gateway bridge

THE driver of a chemical tanker that overturned on the Mersey Gateway Bridge almost spilled thousands of litres of hazardous liquid onto the carriageway. David Irvine, of Avonlea Gardens in Northern Ireland, was behind the wheel of the HGV off the Mersey Gateway slip road when the incident occurred at around 3pm on Wednesday, May 6. He drove around the roundabout but failed to take into account the fact that he was carrying a load of 27,000 litres of sodium hypochlorite solution.

As a result of his driving, the vehicle overturned and narrowly missed a number of men who were working on the bridge construction site. The incident caused serious damage to the HGV but, fortunately, the tanker was not breached and its contents did not spill onto the road. The 30-year-old appeared at Warrington Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention.

He was subsequently slapped with a GBP826 fine and received seven penalty points on his driving licence. Following the sentencing, PC James Shrimpton, of Cheshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “Thankfully, emergency services were able to avert a major chemical incident by co-coordinating the operation between Cheshire Police, specialist fire officers, recovery agents and Mersey Gateway staff. READ> Halton’s rate of new coronavirus cases compared to the rest of the UK

“However, the incident still resulted in serious delays for local residents, forcing a major route into Widnes to close for several hours. It also caused thousands of pounds worth of damage. “This incident highlights the fact that a momentary lapse in attention behind the wheel can have serious consequences.

“Fortunately in this case, everyone involved was able to escape without suffering any serious injuries.”

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