Tanker driver in court after overturning on the Mersey Gateway in Cheshire

THE driver of a chemical tanker that overturned and narrowly avoided spilling its hazardous contents on the Mersey Gateway has been issued with seven penalty points. David Irvine appeared at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on Monday, October 26, after pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention. The 30-year-old, of Avonlea Gardens, Newtonabbott, Northern Ireland, was also handed a GBP660 fine and ordered to pay GBP100 court costs and a GBP66 victim surcharge.

The court heard that Irvine was driving a HGV tanker off the Mersey Gateway slip road, Widnes, when the incident occurred at about 3pm on Wednesday, May 6. As he drove around the roundabout, he failed to take into account the fact that there were 27,000 litres of a sodium hypochlorite solution in the tanker. As a result of his driving, the vehicle overturned, narrowly missing 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. PC James Shrimpton, of Cheshire Constabulary’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” . “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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