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M42 death crash driver wins back his licence

A LORRY driver jailed after the horrific M42 crash at Bromsgrove in 1997, when three people died and more than 100 were injured, is to be given back his licence.

David Fairclough, who was banned from driving for four years when he was sentenced in April 1999, successfully applied at Worcester Crown Court for the disqualification to be lifted.

Judge Andrew Geddes ordered the ban to cease on Saturday, December 1, so that the 49-year-old can take an extended driving test in time to start a new job in February.

Fairclough, of Colman Avenue, Wednesfield, West Midlands, was at the wheel of a heavy goods lorry when he came off a slip road at 56mph on to the motorway in dense fog, said William Rickarby, for the Crown.

His speed had dropped to 32mph when he crashed into the back of a tanker, which then crushed a Peugeot 205 being driven by 21-year-old Lisa Dodson, of Chaddesley Corbett, near Kidderminster.

The Loughborough University student, who had been home for Mother's Day, was killed instantly.

The prosecution offered no evidence against Fairclough on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving, said Mr Rickarby, but he admitted dangerous driving and was jailed for three months.

Fairclough told the court his jail term at Hewell Grange, near Redditch, had been "horrific" and the case had cost him his home because he was unable to maintain mortgage payments.

The accident had caused him to have bleeding to the brain and he still had steel plates in his leg.

Fairclough, married with two children, said he had been a lorry driver for more than 20 years and had been forced to give up two jobs in the steel industry.

Now, he had been approached by the boss of a freight firm, who wants him on the staff when he buys two new lorries in February.

Alan Parker, for Fairclough, said an extended test provided reassurance to the public a proper standard of driving had been attained.

The other victims of the pile-up were Redditch postman Malcolm MacDonald, 53, and Margaret Vining, 63, of Gloucester.

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