A LORRY driver accused of falling asleep and causing a fatal crash told police he was a "careful driver" and denied feeling weary while on his shift.

Arthur Page claimed he could not remember hitting or even seeing Wayne Howen's vehicle which had been forced to stop in the left-hand carriageway of the A1 in North Yorkshire, between Bedale and Catterick after suffering two badly damaged tyres in an accident.

Mr Page, 59, denies causing death by dangerous driving in the early hours of September 12 2012 and is on trial at Teesside Crown Court.

The prosecution allege he dozed off behind the wheel and hit Mr Howen's truck causing it to jack-knife and crush him.

The 38-year-old victim, a father-of-one, from Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton, had been wearing a fluorescent jacket and was waving a torch in a bid to direct passing traffic into the outside lane.

In recorded inteviews read to the jury Mr Page, from Worlaby, Lincolnshire, said he had spent the last seven years as a truck driver and drove 2,000 miles a week. Describing his style of driving he said he was "careful and a bit too cautious".

He said after the A1 reduced from three lanes to a dual carriageway at Leeming Bar, the next thing he recalled was waking up in his cab trapped and in pain.

He was later put into an induced coma because of his serious injuries. Mr Page said he thanked god he survived, adding: “Every day I think of the guy who is not here anymore.”

The defendant, who dabbed away tears during the replaying of the interviews, denied he felt weary and had a good rest before the start of his shift.

Traffic Constable Graham Waller, of North Yorkshire Police, described in a statement how Mr Page's cab had been severely damaged and was embedded in Mr Howen's trailer.

He spoke to the defendant who told him: “I just thought he was in a lay-by or the hard shoulder”.

The police officer said there were safety concerns over the scene with the victim's vehicle laden with gas bottles and Mr Page's vehicle carrying paint and car batteries.

Witnesses said Mr Howen's vehicle was “lit up like a Christmas tree”, while he had also placed red warning triangles and red and white cones in the carriageway.

The trial continues.