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Wednesday, 28 November, 2001, 19:47 GMT
Tipper driver fined over death crash
Exeter Crown Court
Johnson had his licence revoked by Exeter Crown Court
A teenager was fined 1,000 and had his licence revoked after being convicted of careless driving.

Darren Johnson, 19, from Rockbeare, near Exeter, was cleared of two charges of causing the deaths of Roy Savage and Brian Hockerday by dangerous driving.

But he was convicted of careless driving in both cases and fined 500 in each.

During the two-day trial, Exeter Crown Court heard Johnson lost control of his tipper truck and ploughed into four oncoming vehicles on the North Devon link road at Swimbridge.

Engine 'ripped out'

Mr Savage and Mr Hockerday, who were in the second and third vehicles respectively, died instantly.

The jury was told the engine of Mr Savage's car was ripped out and Mr Hockerday's car was crushed.

The truck was then propelled into the air, landing on the roof of a van before crashing back on to the road.

Johnson told police he could remember nothing of the accident, which happened last February on his way to work, and could give no explanation why it had occurred.

He insisted he had not been distracted or fallen asleep at the wheel and told police he could remember the first impact and his windscreen shattering, but then he blacked out.

When he regained consciousness, he said he managed to climb out of the cab of his vehicle before collapsing in the road.

Fining Johnson 1000 and ordering his licence be revoked until he passes a test, Judge Ian McIntosh said no amount of money would compensate the victims' families for their loss.

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