A JURY has been sent home for the weekend after failing to return a verdict in the trial of an HGV driver accused of falling asleep at the wheel and crashing into a broken down truck, killing a man.
The 59-year-old, a former ambulance driver, who lives in Lincolnshire, has told the jury at Teesside Crown Court that he previously suffered from sleep apnoea, a condition that can cause tiredness.
But he has rejected prosecution claims that a lack of attention to the road and the fact he did not exercise better judgement in respect of his condition led directly to Mr Howen's death.
The 38-year-old victim, from Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton, who had a young son and was living with a long-term partner, was crushed by his own articulated tractor unit as he attempted to direct traffic away from the inside lane where the vehicle, which was carrying gas bottles, had stopped.
The jury spent Friday afternoon deliberating their verdict before being released for the weekend by Judge Tony Briggs.