Essex

East Mersea steam engine crash: Lorry driver jailed for 18 months

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDriver jailed for steam engine bus crash

A lorry driver has been jailed for 18 months for causing a crash involving a bus and a low-loader carrying a steam engine.

Philip Last, 53, of Great Yarmouth, admitted six counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving in the collision in East Mersea, Essex, in September 2015.

In total, 23 people were hurt in the crash.

At Ipswich Crown Court, Last was also banned from driving for 21 months.

LIVE: For more on this and other Essex stories

Bus driver Michael Birch had to be cut free from his cabin following the crash.

He said he thought he "would die" and has been unable to drive since.

Image caption Bus driver Michael Birch needed seven operations following the crash

The court was told parts of the engine was held in place by just one strap, which snapped in the collision.

Last said he was "extremely horrified" by what happened and was "devastated by the unintended consequences".

In a statement, he said he "heard a crunch" and came to a "dead halt" when he and the bus were due to pass each other on a slight bend in the 40mph road.

Judge David Goodin said the accident had "grave consequences".

He added: "You are an experienced driver of heavy vehicles.

"You had the advantage of specific training of how to secure this six tonnes of metal to ensure no movement.

"You wouldn't have wished this for a moment, but you caused it."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites