Lorry driver Peter Wright jailed for causing death of 'wonderful father' Anthony Duggan in London crash
PUBLISHED: 16:27 05 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:27 05 July 2017
The family of a "wonderful father" who was killed when his motorcycle was hit by a gritting lorry doing an illegal u-turn have spoken of their "utter devastation" at his death.
Anthony Duggan, who was born and raised in St Albans and attended Beaumont School, was driving along London’s West India Dock Road when lorry driver Peter Wright made the illegal manoeuvre as he approached a gap in the central reservation - despite signs making clear it was banned.
Mr Duggan, 47, who was living in Wapping, London at the time, died at the scene despite attention from medical staff from London’s Air Ambulance.
Wright, 45, of Princess Margaret Road, Linford, Stanford-Le-Hope, Essex, claimed he had been told to perform the u-turn to make sure the roads were fully gritted.
After a six-day trial at London’s Old Bailey, Wright was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving in the incident on Monday, February 2 last year.
In a victim impact statement read out during Wright’s sentencing on Friday, June 30 - where he was jailed for nine months and disqualified from driving for a year - John Duggan, the victim’s brother, said: “Whilst as a family we all miss my brother terribly, there are two people who have suffered the most from Anthony’s death. His loss has been devastating for his mother and his son.
“My mother, who is now in her late 70s, is extremely unwell. My mother’s reaction to Anthony’s death was one of utter devastation. She displayed a whole range of emotions, from anger to hopelessness and despair.
“There were many occasions when I arrived at her home address and found her tearful or blankly staring out of her window.
“If Anthony could be defined in a couple of words, it would be that he was a wonderful father. My brother’s world revolved around his son. He absolutely doted on him.
“Anthony has left a huge void in so many of our lives and left in his place are regret, sadness and the feeling that he still had so much to offer as a son, a father and a brother.”
Mr Duggan’s mother, Lesley, had been a well-known teacher in the area and was also heavily involved with a number of local charities, as well as the St Albans Musical Theatre Company.
DS Cheryl Frost, of the Metropolitan Police’s roads and transport policing command - who led the investigation - said: “There is no exception for emergency service vehicles to ignore a no U-turn sign.
“Rules, regulations and traffic signs are put in place to keep the public safe, and those who ignore them are a danger to other road users.
“In this case, ignoring a traffic sign has had tragic consequences. A man has lost life and a family has been left devastated.”