Essex

A12 lorry crash: Gurdip Johal 'unaware of heavy load'

Gurdip Johal Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Gurdip Johal was negotiating a right-hand bend when his vehicle came off a bridge

A driver who died when his lorry came off a bridge and crashed on to a dual carriageway was unaware of the heavy load of batteries in his trailer, an inquest has heard.

Gurdip Johal, 30, from Witham, Essex, was killed in the crash on the A12 just north of the town in February.

The inquest heard he was taking a trailer for a test drive and had not been able to look at its contents.

He died as the result of an accident, the coroner ruled.

The hearing in Chelmsford was told the trailer had been submitted to Mr Johal's employer Harris Trucks for a pre-MOT assessment by another company.

Mr Johal had taken it up the A12 northbound to Kelvedon then back down southbound, before he lost control after turning back off the A12 on to Colemans Bridge on his way back to the base.

Image copyright Essex Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption The lorry involved in the crash contained an industrial-sized battery

PC Dave Howard told the inquest: "It was the first time he [Mr Johal] had driven this trailer and he had been unaware of the trailer's high centre of gravity."

He said as well as the high centre of gravity, the crash was the result of three other factors which were the speed, the curvature of the road and the camber.

The inquest heard the truck struck a tree on the way down and hit a lamppost.

Senior coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said Mr Johal was "a much-loved family member" who had been killed in a "tragic accident".

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