Leeds & West Yorkshire

M1 lorry driver admits causing death of PC Mark Goodlad

Mark Goodlad
Image caption PC Goodlad died on the hard shoulder of the M1

A lorry driver has admitted causing the death of a police officer who stopped to help a stranded motorist on a motorway in West Yorkshire.

PC Mark Goodlad, 41, of Goole, East Yorkshire, was hit on the hard shoulder of the M1, near Wakefield, after going to the woman's aid last October.

Andrew Abernethy, 45, of Rembrandt Walk, Oldham, admitted causing death by dangerous driving at Leeds Crown Court.

He was bailed to appear at the same court for sentencing on 22 November.

PC Goodlad died when a heavy goods vehicle hit a marked BMW X5 police car and a grey Suzuki Swift on the southbound carriageway.

The officer was between the two vehicles, helping the 51-year-old female driver of the Suzuki. The woman suffered minor injuries in the incident.

Eye pain claim

The court heard it had still not been established why Abernethy's truck left the carriageway.

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 the defendant maintained he was distracted because he had a pain in his eye.

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 the sentencing date and asked for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

PC Goodlad had been an officer with West Yorkshire Police for 10 years. He left behind his wife Helen, and teenage son, Ben.

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