A roads policing inspector says motorists can learn lessons from the shocking footage of a lorry ploughing into a queue of traffic on the M53, killing one man and leaving another needing 24-hour care as a result of his injuries.
Lorry driver Peter Tootle, of Naomi Close in Blacon, was jailed for two and a half years earlier this week, after admitting causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury while driving dangerously.
With the consent of the families affected by last year’s tragedy, footage of the crash filmed from the cab of Tootle’s Volvo was released by police to warn drivers of the dangers of not paying attention.
Insp Mike McFall, from Merseyside Police’s roads unit, said: “This was an ordinary person doing an ordinary journey with a level of inattention that amounted to dangerous driving.
“The lessons we need to learn are to pay attention and not to be complacent.
“Look at the road and look for hazards and dangers.”
There was no evidence Tootle, 61, was asleep or using his phone, but Insp McFall said he ignored a succession of warning signs along the motorway and was ‘inattentive for a significant number of miles’.
Tootle had been driving close to the junction 4 turn-off at Bebington on September 4, 2014, when the crash occurred.
An earlier collision meant traffic was as a standstill and advanced warning signs, including advice to reduce speed, were in place.
But Tootle continued to drive at his vehicle’s top speed of around 55mph and piled into 51-year-old Mark Done’s stationary Citroen, fatally crushing him and injuring ten others when vehicles were shunted into one another.
Insp McFall added: “Ordinary people paid the price for this and I would urge other drivers to remain alert, check road signs, not drive when you are tired and be cautious in bad weather, particularly fog, snow and ice.”
Tootle has also been banned from the roads for five years.