Van driver more than double the drink-drive limit when he drove from Hull to West Yorkshire on closed section of M62 motorway

A driver was more than twice the drink-drive limit when he took his van onto a closed section of motorway then drove for almost 40 miles before being arrested.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 4:45 pm

Simon Fox put the lives of highway maintenance workers in danger on the A63 and M62 during the 'appalling' incident on January 24 this year.

Leeds Crown Court heard Fox drove his Ford Transit van through barriers closing off the A63 in Hull at 10.20pm.

The 42-year-old then continued on to the M62 towards West Yorkshire without his headlights on.

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Simon Fox was arrested near to junction 33 of the M62

Staff working on the stretch of road contacted a manager to warn him of the danger and he was able to clear the motorway of other workmen.

The manager followed Fox along the motorway as the defendant repeatedly collided with the central reservation and veered across all three lanes and onto the hard shoulder.

Carley Green, prosecuting, said a tyre burst on Fox's van but he continued to drive despite rubber flying from the wheel.

A lorry driver managed to force Fox into stopping by parking his HGV across the carriageway near to the slip road at the turn-off for Ferrybridge.

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Miss Green said Fox was breathalysed and found to be two-and-a-half times the drink-drive limit.

Fox, of Spring Close, Bingley, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, drink-driving and failing to attend court.

Andrew Stranex, mitigating, said Fox pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage and has no previous convictions.

Mr Stranex said Fox works as a self-employed floor layer and his job requires him to travel across Europe.

The barrister said Fox travelled to Hull on the night of the incident to meet a friend for drinks and had planned to stay at a hotel.

He said Fox drove his van when his bank card was declined at the hotel but could not remember the incident due to the amount of alcohol he had consumed.

Mr Stranex said the offence occurred soon after his client's marriage of 12 years had broken down.

He said the defendant had been diagnosed with kidney problems and he would struggle to access the medical care he requires if he was sent to prison.

He was also disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Judge Penelope Belcher said: "This was an extraordinary session of appalling driving.

"You could have killed any number of those road workers.

"It was an awfully long way to be driving.

"What I find particularly horrifying is that you have no recollection of this.

"You were a risk to yourself and all other road users."