'Wrong-way' lorry driver jailed after M6 drama
10 August 2012
A LORRY DRIVER has been jailed for eight months after driving the wrong way along the M6 whilst more than twice the drink drive limit.
Hungarian, Pal Korbely, was stopped by Central Motorway Police officers on Saturday 7 July after motorists were forced to swerve to miss his oncoming lorry. Concerned drivers dialled 999 when they were confronted with the heavy goods vehicle travelling towards them as they journeyed north on one of the country’s busiest motorways.
The 50-year-old got onto the M6 at Hilton Park services at around 10.25pm and drove his HGV into oncoming traffic, without headlights, for more than three miles.
Innocent motorists were alerted to the danger when the Highways Agency switched on overhead signs along the motorway, indicating that lanes ahead were blocked.
Korbely was eventually stopped when three fellow lorry drivers blockaded his path and forced him to stop. Police quickly arrived at the scene and arrested him on suspicion of dangerous driving and driving whilst under the influence of drink.
At a court appearance last month, Korbely pleaded guilty to both offences and he was remanded in custody until this morning’s sentencing hearing at Birmingham Crown Court, where Judge Paul Farrer QC sentenced him to eight months for dangerous driving, three months drink driving a three year driving ban. He was also ordered to take a protracted driving test before being able to get back behind the wheel.
Sergeant Robin Barker, from the Central Motorway Police Group, investigated the incident. He said Korbely’s reckless driving could well have resulted in a far more serious incident.
“Korbely drove along one of the busiest stretches of the motorway network in Britain, into oncoming traffic, forcing dozens of innocent motorists to swerve out of the way,” he said.
“It is a miracle that his dangerous driving did not result in a serious accident, causing injury or even death.
“He knowingly got into this vehicle whilst twice the legal drink drive limit, which is dangerous in itself, before he even started driving the wrong way along the motorway.
“The co-ordinated efforts of Highways Agency staff and emergency services, and the quick-thinking of the passing motorists, means that we are not talking about a more serious incident.
“Hopefully Korbely’s sentence will serve as a warning to others to think before they act in such an irresponsible fashion.”
Head of CMPG, Martin Evans, added: “Central Motorway Police Group is a diverse and specialist unit, not only dedicated to policing the motorway network across the region but also committed to targeting criminals who use these routes to travel to places in order to commit serious crimes.
“Last year, CMPG recovered more than £4million worth of drugs and seized assets and cash in excess of £2.8million.
“We are pleased with these successes and we continue to strive this performance year to prevent crime, tackle serious offenders travelling through the Midlands, whilst maintaining our constant patrols to ensure motorists are driving safely and legally across the region.”
Since April 2012 CMPG have arrested over 66 people suspected of committing burglary and robbery offences, whilst detaining 120 suspected drink drivers. In just the past three months the group has seized £1.4 million of stolen assets and recovered nearly £500,000 worth of drugs.
Fore more information on CMPG, visit: www.cmpg.police.uk