A DRIVER who lost his £12,000 BMW to a crash on the A1 recently has told how his honesty led to a police interview and an order to take a driving course.
Gary Gallagher was involved in a collision with a van on the road near Newcastle on June 25 and was told his car would be too expensive to repair.
His dashcam recorded the incident, showing the van he collided with also crashing moments before into a vehicle it was following.
Gary, from Bedlington, Northumberland, accepted responsibility for his failure to stop in time despite claims that the road conditions were wet and oily, and handed his footage to police.
Days after being told his BMW 3 Series was written off, Gary’s woes were added to when he was interviewed under caution by police and ordered to join a £170 course to avoid prosecution.
Gary, 44, was in the right-hand lane following busy traffic when the van in front of him smashed into another vehicle, and then Gary ploughed into the van seconds later.
The collision happened close to junction 77 of the A1 road near Newcastle, where Gary claims oily conditions meant vehicles were being carried further when heavy braking occurred.
The engineer posted dashcam footage of the incident to an online Facebook group as well as pictures of his car after the impact.
He captioned the footage: “A case of always expect the unexpected and predict the amount of traction you are gonna get when you try to put your brake pedal through the floor on a wet oily road!
“I failed massively when this van hit a stationary car. Think I must have got down to 12mph by the time I made contact!”
Gary’s car is following a white van when there appears to be a sudden stoppage in the traffic ahead.
The white van smashes into a red vehicle at speed and debris from that car can be seen spraying across the road just as Gary himself gets involved in the collision.
Following the impact, the footage shows the van with clear damage to its rear and a picture posted by Gary shows his BMW wrecked at the front.
Gary points out in other images that the reflection of the first car’s brake lights can be seen in the side of the bus in the next lane, seconds before the van hits it.
Social media users who watched the clip were interested in who was to blame.
One viewer said: “Shame mate, you seem to be driving well and to the conditions, hence it’s an accident. Did the van run up the back of the car in front so it caught you out?”
One more stated: “Sorry but you were too close. Want proof? Could you stop in time? Yes we all do it at times, some more than others.”
Another said: “I wouldn’t be accepting that. I’m sorry to say but if that van had not hit the car then you would have not hit the van. Fair play for saying that. But I don’t think you should be.”
Gary told of his despair that his car, which he bought for £12,000 two years ago, would have cost around £5000 to fix properly.
He said: “My car is beyond economical repair. It only needs a few parts but with it being a BMW, it costs too much for the insurer to pay out. I’m devastated.”
Speaking about the disappointing end to an already glum week, Gary said: “I got interviewed under caution by the police on Sunday about the accident and I have been told I am to go on a course which will cost me £170.
“This is instead of any kind of prosecution for careless driving. I don’t know if it’s going to be taken through the courts or not. But basically, this has ended my week fantastically!”
Northumbria Police confirmed there were no casualties at the scene of the crash.
A spokesman said: “At about 5.10pm on Tuesday June 25, police received a report of a three-vehicle collision on the northbound carriageway of the A1 between junctions 76 and 77.
“Nobody was seriously injured and the road was fully cleared less than an hour after the incident was reported.”