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Lorry driver Andrew Abernethy admits causing death of PC Goodlad
10:17am Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in News
A lorry driver has admitted causing the death of an East Yorkshire police officer who was hit by a vehicle as he helped a stranded motorist on a motorway hard shoulder.
But Leeds Crown Court heard how it has still not been established why Andrew Abernethy's truck left the M1, near Wakefield, trapping PC Mark Goodlad between his police car and another vehicle.
Prosecutors said the incident showed classic signs of being a sleep-related collision, but investigators found no evidence Abernethy had worked excessive hours or not slept.
The court heard that the defendant maintains he was distracted because he had a pain in his eye.
Abernethy, 45, of Rembrandt Walk, Oldham, admitted causing death by dangerous driving.
He was driving an orange Scania articulated lorry which hit a marked BMW X5 police car and a grey Suzuki Swift on the southbound carriageway of the M1, near the village of Crigglestone, on October 24 last year.
The police car and the Suzuki were both stationary on the hard shoulder and officers said PC Goodlad, 41, who was from Goole, was between the two vehicles, helping the 51-year-old woman who had been driving the Suzuki.
The woman suffered minor injuries in the incident.
Judge Scott Wolstenholme was asked to consider whether he could sentence Abernethy without resolving the issue about why the collision happened.
The judge said he would consider whether a trial of issue was needed, but fixed a sentencing date for November 22 at Bradford Crown Court.
PC Goodlad had been an officer with West Yorkshire Police for ten years.