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Craig Johnson fined after driving past “road closed” signs and crashing on A658
A MARKETING manager who drove at speed past three police “road closed” signs and crashed at the scene of an earlier serious accident has been given a criminal record and fined.
Traffic officers were dealing with the aftermath of a collision that had left three people in hospital, when they were staggered to see Craig Lewis Johnson’s car crash near their recovery operation.
After arresting him, they tweeted that his actions were “#UtterStupidity”.
Johnson, 27, of Eboracum Way in York, had driven past one “road closed” sign at Buttersyke Bar, where the A61 crosses the A658, south of Harrogate, another at Huby on the A658 itself, and one close to the scene of the accident, between Huby and Pool-in-Wharfedale, a distance of more than two miles.
Police officers saw him approach at “excessive speed” and one tried to stop him with a hand signal, prosecutor Helen Wheatley told York Crown Court.
He crashed into a traffic cone only 15 metres from where emergency services were working, at 6am on July 28, and was arrested.
Police initially suspected he was drink-driving, but this was not the case.
He was charged with dangerous driving, which was later changed to careless driving.
Johnson told officers he was in a hurry because he was late for work.
Several hours later, Inspector Paul Cording tweeted: “The incident I tweeted about this morning. I am still lost for words.”
After Johnson pleaded guilty to careless driving, Insp Cording said: “This individual put his own and other people’s lives at risk.
“My colleagues were already dealing with a serious road traffic collision and had put a road closure on to ensure the scene was a safe and secure environment to work in.
“It is incomprehensible that anyone can drive through three road closed signs and then drive into a traffic cone only 15 metres from where officers were working.
“I would urge all road users to adhere to signs and diversions and allow the emergency services to carry out their roles. Today’s results reflects the seriousness of the offence and sends a clear message to others of the consequences of ignoring road signs.”
Johnson was fined £400 with £100 prosecution costs and a £40 statutory surcharge and given six penalty points on his driving licence. It was his first conviction.
His barrister, Jonathan Boumphrey, said: “He must have been a complete pain for the police officers to deal with him and he acknowledges that.”
The night before he had been out in York with friends and was tired and had therefore made a poor decision.
The A658 was closed so emergency services could deal with a crash between a Citroen C5 estate taxi from Richmond containing a father and his daughter and a 55-year-old taxi driver, who was also taken to hospital, and a Ford Transit tipper van driven by a 50-year-old driver from Humberside.