YouTube tanker driver not to blame

A tanker driver was not to blame for an incident in which a car was trapped in front of his cab as he drove along a motorway, an inquiry found.

Footage of the dramatic accident was viewed by half a million people on video sharing website YouTube.

A Traffic Commission hearing looked into the episode to determine whether John Tomlinson should retain his HGV licence.

The verdict was a ringing endorsement of his "cool and calm" response to a crisis.

The 40-tonne tanker pushed a Renault Clio at high speed along the A1 (M) in Yorkshire.

The hearing, before North West Traffic Commissioner Beverley Bell, was told the accident happened when the Clio driver attempted to undertake Mr Tomlinson's tanker in an "ill-advised" manoeuvre.

Sean Joyce, Mr Tomlinson's solicitor, described how Rhona Jane Williams, a vet from York, was joining the south-bound carriageway of the A1 (M) at junction 44 when the incident happened at around 8.30am on January 13.

Quoting her statements to police, Mr Joyce explained that her lane of the slip road merged into the middle lane of the motorway.

He added: "She saw Mr Tomlinson's HGV in the middle lane as she came off a slip road on to the carriageway.

"She was effectively performing an undertaking manoeuvre as she joined the lane."

Mr Tomlinson remained unaware of the incident and continued driving until a motorist in a 4x4 pulled ahead of the vehicles and began flashing his hazard lights.

Mr Tomlinson, from Clitheroe, Lancashire, brought his lorry to a stop on the hard shoulder and only became aware of Ms Williams in the Clio when he got out of the vehicle.

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