Shocking dashcam video shows terrifying moment lorry driver falls asleep at the wheel and ploughs into FIVE vehicles to leave motorists with life-changing injuries 

  •  Speeding lorry driver Martin Gibson, 54, crashed into a white van
  •  He then smashed into three cars and motorbike in dominoes-effect pile up
  • The court heard how Gibson had been seeing a doctor for sleep apnoea
  • He has now been sentenced to 15 months imprisonment

This is the horrifying moment a 44-tonne truck slams into the back of four cars after the driver allegedly fell asleep at the wheel

Martin Gibson, 54 - who is said to suffer from sleep apnoea - was driving along the A46 near Stratford-upon-Avon when he crashed into a slow-moving lane of traffic on May 21 last year.

Shocking dash-cam footage taken from inside the truck captured the devastating collision which left the other drivers with serious injuries. 

Smash: Martin Gibson, 54, was driving along the A46 near Stratford-upon-Avon when he crashed into a slow-moving lane of traffic on May 21 last year

Smash: Martin Gibson, 54, was driving along the A46 near Stratford-upon-Avon when he crashed into a slow-moving lane of traffic on May 21 last year

Veering aside: Shocking dash-cam footage shows the huge articulated truck speeding down a country road before colliding with a white Renault Kangoo

Veering aside: Shocking dash-cam footage shows the huge articulated truck speeding down a country road before colliding with a white Renault Kangoo

The clip -  which has been released by Warwickshire Police to serve as a warning to other drivers - shows the huge articulated truck speeding down a country road before colliding with a white Renault Kangoo.

In a domino effect of devastation, the truck then slams into a grey Volkswagen Golf, white BMW 1 Series, a black Nisssan Qashqai and a black Kawasaki motorcycle, which had all slowed down due to the approaching busy traffic. 

The drivers of the other vehicles were left with serious injuries some of which were deemed life changing.

The vehicles' glass can be seen shattering following the devastating impact of the collision before the lorry eventually pulls up at the side of the single carriageway.  

Warwick Crown Court heard how Gibson, from Gloucester, had seen a doctor previously for sleep apnoea and must have dozed off at the wheel at the time of the smash. 

The judge was also told the lorry had been travelling at between 34-54mph at the point of horror smash. 

The driver pleaded guilty on 25 April and was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for five counts of dangerous driving.

He was also disqualified from driving for three years and one month, and ordered to take an extended driving test.

Pile-up: In a domino effect of devastation, the truck then slams into a grey Volkswagen Golf, white BMW 1 Series, a black Nisssan Qashqai and a black Kawasaki motorcycle

Pile-up: In a domino effect of devastation, the truck then slams into a grey Volkswagen Golf, white BMW 1 Series, a black Nisssan Qashqai and a black Kawasaki motorcycle

Path of destruction: The cars had all slowed down due to the approaching busy traffic

Path of destruction: The cars had all slowed down due to the approaching busy traffic

Chaos: The vehicles' glass can be seen shattering following the devastating impact of the collision before the lorry eventually pulls up at the side of the single carriageway

Chaos: The vehicles' glass can be seen shattering following the devastating impact of the collision before the lorry eventually pulls up at the side of the single carriageway

Sentencing, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones said: 'I accept you will feel conscience-stricken and remorseful for what you did.

'But what you did was drive a heavy goods vehicle, a potentially lethal vehicle, at a time when you were susceptible to falling asleep - and you knew about that and you still drove.

'As a consequence you caused devastating injuries to at least five people.

'I'd be failing in my duty if I did not articulate the determination of the courts to deter all drivers, and especially drivers of HGVs, from taking the risk for which you are culpable.

'I sentence you with a heavy heart, because you are a decent man, but offences of this sort have to receive condign punishment. 

The court heard Gibson entered his plea on the basis he could not recall the incident, and must have suddenly fallen asleep at the wheel.

Prosecutor Amy Jackson added: 'The dashboard camera footage shows the lorry going down the road and not changing pace or direction, and you can see the reflection of his hands on the wheel not moving.'

Miss Jackson said that at 8.20am there was queuing traffic on the A46 northbound approaching the Stratford park-and-ride roundabout, visible for more than 350 metres.

She added: 'Unfortunately the defendant did not see the end of the queue and, driving a large artic, went straight into the back of the queue, causing significant injury to a number of people.'

Crash scene: The drivers of the other vehicles were left with serious injuries some of which were deemed life changing

Crash scene: The drivers of the other vehicles were left with serious injuries some of which were deemed life changing

Aftermath: Gibson, from Gloucester, pleaded guilty on 25 April and was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court to 15 months imprisonment for five counts of dangerous driving

Aftermath: Gibson, from Gloucester, pleaded guilty on 25 April and was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court to 15 months imprisonment for five counts of dangerous driving

Builder Andrew Hall, 52, was in the Renault Kangoo van at the end of the traffic and looked in his mirror to see the HGV bearing down.

The court heard he tried to pull out of the lorry's path onto the verge before there was 'an enormous impact' with the rear of his van.

He suffered fractured vertebrae and ribs, broken legs and arm, including his wrist and elbow, as a result of which he was unable to walk unaided for five months and has been unable to return to work.

Agricultural engineer Robert Giddings and his wife Patricia were in their VW Golf, which was hit with such force that the roof 'crinkled,' trapping them.

Mrs Giddings was in a coma for two weeks and suffered fractures to her spine and neck, hip and pelvis, and is still unsure whether she will regain full mobility, and liver damage

Mr Giddings also had a broken neck and spinal injury and has been forced to retire.

Danuta Balcewicz, a retired dinner lady who had lived in Belgium for 40 years, working for NATO, who had driven over to the UK to visit friends and relatives.

Destruction: Investigating Officer, PC Craig Marshall of Warwickshire Police' Operational Patrol Unit said: 'We have issued the footage, with the agreement of the families of those affected by the incident, as a warning to drivers to pay attention when behind the wheel'

Destruction: Investigating Officer, PC Craig Marshall of Warwickshire Police' Operational Patrol Unit said: 'We have issued the footage, with the agreement of the families of those affected by the incident, as a warning to drivers to pay attention when behind the wheel'

Damaged: 'Mr Gibson's dangerous driving had caused substantial damage, and had the potential to cause loss of life of those within the vehicles that were struck in the space of a few seconds'

Damaged: 'Mr Gibson's dangerous driving had caused substantial damage, and had the potential to cause loss of life of those within the vehicles that were struck in the space of a few seconds'

Upturned: Warwick Crown Court heard how Gibson, from Gloucester, had seen a doctor previously for sleep apnoea and must have dozed off at the wheel at the time of the smash

Upturned: Warwick Crown Court heard how Gibson, from Gloucester, had seen a doctor previously for sleep apnoea and must have dozed off at the wheel at the time of the smash

She had to be cut from her car with injuries to her wrists and abdomen and a wound to the side of her head which needed 50 stitches and may require plastic surgery.

She still suffers dizziness and headaches.

The court heard the impact also sent the Giddings' VW Golf spinning into the opposite carriageway where Daniel Prince was riding his Kawasaki motorbike.

He was riding at a normal speed when the car suddenly appeared and, unable to stop, was thrown from his bike, over the car and onto the road.

Prince suffered a broken shoulder, wrist, elbow, hip, thigh, leg and foot, four broken vertebrae and a shattered pelvis, and still walks with a leg brace and with the aid of a stick.

Another vehicle, a 4x4, was also hit and sent spinning into a hedge, but the driver, who had just dropped her son off at school, escaped with less serious injuries.

Raj Punia, defending, said: 'He must have fallen asleep, that's the only explanation.

'He would like to apologise to each of them face-to-face for the consequences of his driving

'To say he is remorseful doesn't reflect how truly, truly sorry he is.' 

Guilty: 'All of this could have been avoided if he had paid attention to the road and anticipated possible traffic conditions ahead involving actions of other drivers'
Jailed: 'I hope the sentence handed down by the court sends a stark warning to anyone who takes irresponsible and dangerous risks on the roads - it is simply not worth it'

Guilty: 'All of this could have been avoided if he had paid attention to the road and anticipated possible traffic conditions ahead involving actions of other drivers'

Investigating Officer, PC Craig Marshall of Warwickshire Police' Operational Patrol Unit said: 'We have issued the footage, with the agreement of the families of those affected by the incident, as a warning to drivers to pay attention when behind the wheel.

'Mr Gibson's dangerous driving had caused substantial damage, and had the potential to cause loss of life of those within the vehicles that were struck in the space of a few seconds.

'All of this could have been avoided if he had paid attention to the road and anticipated possible traffic conditions ahead involving actions of other drivers.

'This just shows that not paying attention when behind the wheel of any vehicle can have life changing effects to those involved.

'I hope the sentence handed down by the court sends a stark warning to anyone who takes irresponsible and dangerous risks on the roads - it is simply not worth it.'  

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