A MAN who failed to apply his handbrake correctly and killed a man as a result has been given a six month sentence suspended for two years.
Konstantin Georgiev, of Corran Road, Stafford, was sentenced yesterday (June 19) at Stafford Crown Court after his vehicle rolled into a trailer unit which Craig Stopforth, 48, from Telford, was stood between on Common Lane in Fradley, Lichfield, on January 11, 2019.
The pair were in the process of swapping trailer units but following a detailed investigation by the Staffordshire and West Midlands Serious Collision Investigation Unit, it was found that 43-year-old Georgiev had failed to apply the handbrake to his tractor unit and the parking brake on his trailer was also not set.
Consequently, when connecting the air-hoses, the vehicle slowly rolled forward and sadly crushed Craig who was at the rear of his trailer. Craig’s trailer was parked in front and he was changing his registration plates over at the time.
The two were working for a transport company in Telford at the time.
Georgiev was sentenced after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving.
Craig’s wife said in a statement: “It’s with the greatest regret and deepest sense of loss that I have had to say goodbye to my husband, needlessly killed in January 2019.
“I miss every atom of him. His big laugh, huge hugs and wicked sense of humour. To say I love and miss him endlessly just isn’t enough. The effect his death has had on myself and our family is overwhelming.”
Sergeant Richard Moors, from the Staffordshire and West Midlands Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This was a tragic event. I would urge drivers of any vehicle, not just lorries, to ensure their own and others safety and check that the handbrake is correctly engaged before exiting their vehicle.
“A family have been left devastated by the actions of Georgiev that night in, what was, an easily avoidable incident.”