Transport firm £500,000 after woman crushed between two lorries

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A TRANSPORT firm has been fined £500,000 after a woman from Hull suffered devastating injuries when she was crushed between two lorries.

Jennifer Rose, 38, was acting as a banksman when a driver uncoupled his trailer to park on a slope, but didn’t apply its parking brake.

Her family was told she wouldn’t survive the night after she suffered severe head injuries, broke 13 bones and suffered a cardiac arrest in April 2013, but she is now on road to recovery.

TIP Europe Ltd, of Market Street, Altrincham, Cheshire, trading as Tip Trailer Services, pleaded guilty to two health and safety breaches at Warwick Crown Court, following what the Health and Safety Executive described as a “totally avoidable” accident. As well as the £500,000 fine it was ordered to pay £56,938 costs.

Mrs Rose, who has a young son, was in intensive care for 10 days after the accident, which left her with fractures in her back, shoulders and ribs, and a punctured lung.

She needed to wear a body brace for four months and was confined to a wheelchair for some months, although has since regained some mobility. But she still requires weekly physiotherapy.

An investigation found the company allowed vehicles to park on the slope without chocks and had no monitoring system to check whether drivers were applying their handbrakes properly.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Elizabeth Hornsby said: “Mrs Rose suffered severe life-changing injuries. “Her family was told she would not survive the night but due to her level of physical fitness and her sheer determination she has fought back and is now on the road to recovery.

“This totally avoidable incident could and should have been prevented with nothing more than common sense.”