Great Yarmouth lorry driver admits dangerous driving after six people were seriously injured

PUBLISHED: 18:13 28 February 2017 | UPDATED: 18:13 28 February 2017

Philip Last leaves Ipswich Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to six charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving after a crash involving a bus and a low loader. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA

Philip Last leaves Ipswich Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to six charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving after a crash involving a bus and a low loader. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA

A lorry driver has admitted dangerous driving after a steam engine on the back of his truck crashed into a bus, seriously injuring six people.

Philip Last, 53, was driving along East Mersea Road in West Mersea, when the steam engine fell from his low loader on September 23, 2015.

Last, of Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth, pleaded guilty to six counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving on the first day of his scheduled trial at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday (February 28).

Judge David Goodin told Last: “Your negligence in securing your load had obviously very grave consequences.”

He added: “At the forefront of my mind is an immediate custodial sentence.”

The case was adjourned until March 22 for pre-sentence reports to be prepared.

Some of the people who were injured in the crash sat in court and gasped as Last entered his guilty pleas.

They made no comment after the hearing.

Michael Birch, the driver of the First bus involved in the crash who was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital after the crash, has previously spoken about what happened.

Mr Birch, who had been a bus driver for 15 years, said he told emergency teams to leave him and help his passengers who were on the service to Colchester General Hospital.

The father-of-four received life-threatening injuries to both his shoulders, chest, his forearm and hand, fingers, hip and pelvis as well as a severe laceration to his abdomen, and spent a month in hospital.

On meeting the air ambulance crew who treated him Mr Birch said: “I just want to say a massive thank you to the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust who sent their crew to the terrible incident.

“There is no doubt in my mind that without them I wouldn’t be here today.

“I had a massive list of injuries and yet the crew gave me the best chance.

“I told the fire crews getting me out of the bus to ‘leave me... I’m not going to make it.

“Get my passengers off instead’ but they told me they had seen worse.”

In total there were 34 passengers on the bus at the time of the collision.

Six people were treated for serious injuries.

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