Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
Lorry Ploughs Through Motorway Traffic As Driver Sleeps At The Wheel
3 December 2017, 16:28 | Updated: 28 October 2019, 15:21
Dashcam footage reveals the horrifying moment a lorry driver falls asleep at the wheel and accelerates into motorway traffic.
This is the horrifying moment a lorry driver accelerated into stationary traffic after falling asleep at the wheel.
Mariusz Wlazlo, 47, was jailed after he launched his fully-laden HGV into two cars at 43mph on a busy motorway.
Dashcam footage from the lorry and from another nearby vehicle shows how Wlazlo, who was an agency driver behind the wheel of an Eddie Stobart vehicle at the time, was speeding up at the time of the impact.
The black Volkswagen Polo is shunted into a silver Toyota Verso in front before it is forced across the other two lanes, the Toyota is spun 360 degrees off the road.
The lorry swerves around a third car into the middle of the road before eventually coming to a halt.
Footage from the rear of the third car shows the lorry approaching at speed, smashing into the other vehicles as the driver manages to drive onto the hard shoulder out of the way.
Wlazlo was in a 40mph zone of the southbound M6 between junction 8 and junction 7, near Great Barr, Birmingham, at the time of impact.
The Polo driver, a woman in her 50s, spent weeks in hospital where she was treated for broken ribs and fractures to vertebrae.
The Toyota driver was released from hospital after treatment for back and neck pain.
The M6 southbound was closed for 90 minutes after the crash, which happened at around 9.40pm on March 15 this year.
At the scene, Wlazlo told police: “I think I went to sleep for a moment.
“I can’t explain as I don’t remember.
“It was like a dream."
Wlazlo, who held a full, clean UK driving licence and had no record of motoring offences in his home country of Poland, initially denied causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
He changed his plea to guilty and was jailed for 16 months at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Wednesday (29/11).
Wkazlo, of Speke, Liverpool, was also banned from driving for three years and eight months, and ordered to take an extended re-test.
PC Gareth Phillips , of the Central Motorway Police Group, said: “The collision has had a devastating impact on the victim in the Polo.“Although she has made a physical recovery, she now feels unable to drive on the motorway.
“Wlazlo was clearly not paying attention and indeed was accelerating into stationary traffic at the time of impact.
“It shows just how important it is to keep fully focussed on the road and surrounding conditions, and to always abide by the speed limit as displayed on gantry signs.
“If the speed he had been travelling had been any higher, this collision would likely have had fatal consequences."