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Firetruck Driver Convicted for Causing Fatal Cattle Stampede

REGULAR READERS MAY RECALL our Morning Lineup posting back in March (HERE) about a firefighter in Somerset, England, who was responding to an emergency when he got stuck in a dairy herd on the roadway in the previous August.  The FF stopped his truck and turned off the lights and siren in order to allow the farmer driving the herd to keep the cows in order and progress by.  Instead, the beasts stalled and kept the roadway blocked.  So the driver turned the lights and siren back on in an attempt to get them moving, which they did.  Unfortunately, they moved the wrong way, panicking and trampling the 75-yr.-old farmer, causing fatal injuries.

The engine driver, Julian Lawford, 49, was arrested and charged with manslaughter by gross negligence.  We noted at the time the curious behavior of the prosecution who waited six months before filing the charges, and then being apparently selective about what information was released.

Julian Lawford

Mr. Lawford appeared in court Monday and, after agreeing to a plea bargain, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing a death by careless driving.  The reduced charge will allow him to avoid jail when he is sentenced on December 20.

Read the Firegeezer report from March 2 HERE.
The Mirror has the story from yesterday’s hearing HERE.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Glockman2209

    Without knowing the driving law in England it’s very hard to comment on this one

  • Glockman2209

    Without knowing the driving law in England it’s very hard to comment on this one

  • Wen

    This is very tragic, yet, is was surly NOT his intention to hurt anyone, rather to do his job, get to a fire call and SAVE lives and property. I seriously don’ t think he should be faulted for this and likely lose his position as a driver.

  • Ffpaulmuehlenbeck

    SO if the Herd Prevented the FF from getting to the Scene, and a Person Died either from a Fire or an accident, Could the Dead person’s family sue the Cow Herder for not have his Cows in Line?? I know WTH???…What Gives???? And this went to Court??? So if a Car Beep’s it’s horn or yell’s out the window and Startel’s a cow and it injures someone, there Responsible?? COME ON!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_64QIX7TB4QCEVRVSVKQMR43J3U Doc

    just more stupid, idiotic laws that rule this world

  • Foxyman9008

    if he gets anything other then a small slap on the wrist it will further prove that england makes no sense to me

  • W Mcl

    I think the charges aren’t unjustified. Wanting to save someone’s life and property almost never is a valid excuse for endangering someone else’s life and property.

    Panic is a significant hazard when dealing with large animals, and the hazard grows with the amount of animals. If there are people working closely to many large animals, it can be assumed that panic amongst the animals poses a risk of death to those people.

    Also this incident leaves some open questions:
    Was there a possibility to get another fire engine dispatched to the scene from a different direction, which wouldn’t have been delayed by the blocked road?
    Was there a way to get the engine around the herd? There were 2 locals with the cattle, maybe they could have given some directions.
    How many firefighters were on the engine, and could they have helped to drive the cattle off the road?
    What did the engine’s officer contribute to the decision to use the siren in such a situation?

  • Dave N2rca

    Probably just easing the truck through instead would have been better, the cattle should be used to machinery and diesel engines but not sirens and air horns.
    pour choice, bad results. but don’t we all bear that weight? Just one bad decision……
    I lend my support to my Brother.