A TRUCK stop turned into the ‘Wild West’ for 45 minutes thanks to a group of young drivers, the trial of Matthew Ferguson and Michael Wood heard on Wednesday.
Irish HGV driver Laurence Dowling was so shocked to see four cars intimidating people they believed were ‘doggers’ at Broxton car park last December 9 that he wrote down the car registration details.
He was also concerned by the speed the cars were driving at in the enclosed car park, and saw Matthew Ferguson reverse his VW Golf towards his HGV as he tried to turn the truck round.
Minutes after he left the picnic area at 12.07am he saw oncoming cars flash their headlights, then came across Michael Wood’s VW Golf upside down in a field.
He told the court: “I thought to myself I guarantee it is one of those cars that has been in an accident, and I was right.
“I stopped to see if people needed help but continued on because the truck would block the area for the emergency services.
“I contacted the police because I just felt it was the proper thing to give a statement about what I saw.”
Mr Dowling told the court he stopped off at Broxton car park last December 9 for a break on his journey from Manchester to Holyhead, where he was due to catch a 2am ferry.
Turning into the lorry area, he saw two cars parked near the turning circle.
Mr Dowling then saw defendant Matthew Ferguson reverse his VW Golf towards the lorry.
He said: “He was not looking where he was going - he was looking up at my cab. I can’t remember whose face it was, but I remember it was arrogant in tone.”
Mr Dowling added: “Cars then started driving round at speed, doing hand brake turns around the turning circle, wheel spinning from one end to the other.
“I was just waiting for someone to hit the truck. At one point I saw the VW Polo [driven by Michael Wood] drive in with a boy hanging out of the front window, very close to a gatepost.
“Anybody driving in was followed and shouted at. They were hunting people, trapping them in with their cars so they couldn’t drive off. I think it was boys being boys, having a laugh but it was just getting beyond the joke.
“It was like the Wild West there for 45 minutes - that’s the only way I can describe it.”
In cross-examination, Michael Wood’s barrister Mark LeBrocq asked the truck driver if he felt in danger.
Mr Dowling said that in his cab he felt safe because if any cars hit his HGV he would not be injured.
Matthew Ferguson’s barrister Simon Mills pointed out that the VW Golf driver could have been blinded by the HGV’s headlights and that Mr Dowling did not see where the car ended up after reversing.
Mr Dowling said that, although he never saw Ferguson carrying out the hand brake turns and fast driving, he was satisfied that the teenager was driving his VW Golf recklessly.
The case continues.