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Lorry driver Michael Burkert still on the run three years after A64 crash
A DRIVER left seriously injured when his car was crushed “like a concertina” by a lorry is still waiting for justice, three years on.
James Bransby, 31, has been left with short-term memory problems for life following the smash on the A64 three years ago, which police said he was lucky to survive.
Lorry driver Michael Burkert, 39, was arrested for dangerous driving, but returned home to Germany during earlier court proceedings claiming a heart condition meant he was too unwell to appear in court.
An international arrest warrant was issued in 2011, but he has not been arrested.
Mr Bransby, who was on his way to work at Burythorpe Quarry near Malton when the crash happened, said he didn’t want to force Burkert into the dock if he was genuinely sick, but urged police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to resolve the matter.
“I just want it to have its day in court and him to answer the charge put to him,” he said.
“But it’s annoying that there’s a loophole where if you don’t like what’s happening you can say I don’t feel very well and I’m going home.”
Burkert, of Bad Berleburg, in Germany, was driving a lorry when it collided with a queue of traffic waiting at temporary traffic lights on the A64, near the Highwayman Café, on the evening of March 8, 2010.
Police officers at the time said Mr Bransby, whose Volkswagen Lupo was at the back of the queue, was lucky to be alive and said his car had been crushed “like a concertina”.
Mr Bransby suffered a back fracture and a head injury and has short-term memory problems and he is unable to stand or sit for long periods of time without his feet going numb, affecting his ability to drive.
Mr Bransby, who now lives in Warwick, said: “At some point you have got to say, if he does have a heart condition and it’s not going to get better with time, what’s the resolution going to be?
“If this guy had just put his hands up in court the first time he would have got a fine and a ban. The last thing I heard was that he had a heart problem and that he was medically unfit to stand trial.
“Surely we should be contacting the German authorities to ask for his licence to be revoked because if he’s not fit to stand trial he’s not fit to drive an HGV.”
Burkert’s trial was halted in January 2011 and he went home to Germany after denying dangerous driving.
His doctors said he was too ill to stand trial in England, despite a European arrest warrant being issued the following April.
A CPS spokeswoman confirmed an arrest warrant had been issued.