Trucker who killed two Catterick Garrison soldiers in A66 smash has driving ban cut from six to two years

Victim: Lance Sergeant David Gartland

Victim: Private Jim Austin

First published in News

A LORRY driver who killed two soldiers after crashing into their Army ambulance will be back on the roads within two years following an Appeal Court ruling.

Lance Sergeant David Gartland, 40, and Private James 'Jimmy' Austin, 24, who were based at Catterick Garrison, survived the initial impact after their Land Rover crashed into the trailer of a lorry which had broken down in a cloud of thick smoke on the A66 at North Stainmore, near Brough, Cumbria, on September 1, 2011.

But they were killed when trucker Colin Pattison, 53, drove into the smoke at 30mph and crashed into their vehicle, crushing it to half its size.

Pattison, of Goole, North Humberside, was jailed for 18 months and received a six year driving ban after being convicted at Carlisle Crown Court of causing death by careless driving last October.

Judges sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court dismissed Pattison's appeal against his jail sentence - but slashed the driving ban from six to two years.

The court heard Pte Austin, of Catterick, and L Sgt Gartland, of Greater Manchester, were returning to the Infantry Training Centre at Catterick Garrison from Warcop Training Centre near Appleby.

Pattison, an HGV driver of more than 30 years, admitted seeing the smoke from about 500 yards away but continued at normal speed without braking, assuming the smoke was from roadside stubble burning.

Lord Justice Davis dismissed an appeal that the sentence was excessive, saying: "He caused their deaths by driving in a manner found by a jury to be careless. The judge found that his conduct fell into the highest category of careless driving, not far short of dangerous driving.

"This was a most horrible, unfortunate, combination of events, but Pattison has to take his share of the responsibility.

"He saw the thick smoke from some distance away but chose not to slow down to any appreciable degree.

"There were here not one, but two, deaths because he had driven too fast for the circumstances.

"We are unable to say that 18 months was manifestly excessive."

However, slashing Pattison's driving ban, Justice Davis concluded: "It was not necessary or appropriate to disqualify him for anything like as long as six years."

Comments (7)

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7:04am Thu 6 Mar 14

Davy Crocket says...

Basically the lorry driver drove with his eyes shut through that smoke, killed two people and will be driving again soon .... Does that make you feel good ?
Basically the lorry driver drove with his eyes shut through that smoke, killed two people and will be driving again soon .... Does that make you feel good ? Davy Crocket
  • Score: 10

8:22am Thu 6 Mar 14

stevegg says...

Just shows what type of person the driver is when after he has killed 2 people following which he received a conviction for careless driving he appeals aginst the driving ban because HE is being unfairly treated!! What about the 2 soldiers who lost their lives and their families? I would have thought it would put you off driving for life.
Just shows what type of person the driver is when after he has killed 2 people following which he received a conviction for careless driving he appeals aginst the driving ban because HE is being unfairly treated!! What about the 2 soldiers who lost their lives and their families? I would have thought it would put you off driving for life. stevegg
  • Score: 13

9:23am Thu 6 Mar 14

jps101 says...

I would have thought anyone capable of driving blindly forward into the unknown is not mentally fit to be in charge of any powered vehicle, and is probably at risk to harming himself and should be certified never mind banned from driving!
I would have thought anyone capable of driving blindly forward into the unknown is not mentally fit to be in charge of any powered vehicle, and is probably at risk to harming himself and should be certified never mind banned from driving! jps101
  • Score: 6

9:24am Thu 6 Mar 14

George1965 says...

I rather doubt he will ever drive a truck again. He will have to go to the Traffic Commissioner to get his LGV licence returned. With an offence as serious as this, it's unlikely he will get it back. Even if he has his licence returned, he then has to find a company to take him on.
I rather doubt he will ever drive a truck again. He will have to go to the Traffic Commissioner to get his LGV licence returned. With an offence as serious as this, it's unlikely he will get it back. Even if he has his licence returned, he then has to find a company to take him on. George1965
  • Score: 5

11:07am Thu 6 Mar 14

studio says...

Do you not think this driver feels bad enough?? He did not drive into that smoke with the aim of killing anyone. Yes, he should have slowed down, I`m sure he knows that. Look at the sentences given to some true criminals in comparison and i think you will agree with this decision.
Do you not think this driver feels bad enough?? He did not drive into that smoke with the aim of killing anyone. Yes, he should have slowed down, I`m sure he knows that. Look at the sentences given to some true criminals in comparison and i think you will agree with this decision. studio
  • Score: -2

12:16pm Thu 6 Mar 14

jenny wren 2 says...

I would question how remorseful the lorry driver is, or how bad he feels, when he has gone to appeal to ask for his sentence to be reduced! How on earth do you think those two soldiers families are feeling now? What value has the court given their sons lives? I will keep pushing this online petitition until the Law starts to take road deaths seriously
www.stopdangerousdri
vers.com
I would question how remorseful the lorry driver is, or how bad he feels, when he has gone to appeal to ask for his sentence to be reduced! How on earth do you think those two soldiers families are feeling now? What value has the court given their sons lives? I will keep pushing this online petitition until the Law starts to take road deaths seriously www.stopdangerousdri vers.com jenny wren 2
  • Score: 8

1:16pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Copley23 says...

The court is NOT there to place a price on the two young lads deaths. It's there to analyse and prosecute. No life is any more important than another.

My guess is that this guy is till going to have to live with this for the rest of his days........whatever you may think regarding his appealing.
He'll never get a LGV license again....moreover, he may not work again unless he's happy to stack shelves in Asda.

That would be purgatory enough for me.
The court is NOT there to place a price on the two young lads deaths. It's there to analyse and prosecute. No life is any more important than another. My guess is that this guy is till going to have to live with this for the rest of his days........whatever you may think regarding his appealing. He'll never get a LGV license again....moreover, he may not work again unless he's happy to stack shelves in Asda. That would be purgatory enough for me. Copley23
  • Score: 0

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