Former Norse employee prosecuted after young sunbathers struck by 4x4 in Norwich park
PUBLISHED: 08:59 11 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:15 11 April 2018
Archant Norfolk 2016
A former Norse employee whose vehicle seriously injured a young couple as they sunbathed in a Norwich park has been prosecuted.
Witnesses described a scene of horror as a Norse 4x4 struck a 19-year-old woman and 20-year-old man in Earlham Park last summer.
The woman suffered a broken vertebrae, collarbone and a fractured sternum, while her partner sustained trauma injuries to his liver, stomach and kidney.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) spokesman has today revealed that the driver was prosecuted in January this year following an investigation.
Meanwhile, his former employer, Norse, said the driver was dismissed.
A Norse spokesman said an investigation by the HSE concluded that “driver inattention” was the main cause of the accident.
“The driver concerned was dismissed,” the spokesman said.
“The HSE acknowledged robust steps had been taken by Norse in light of the incident and has told us no further action is planned against the company.”
The spokesman said the incident happened while the driver was collecting litter on behalf of Norwich Norse Environmental last year.
“We took this matter extremely seriously,” the Norse spokesman said. “And in the light of this case, all staff driving Norse vehicles have been reminded of the need to be constantly vigilant and risk aware, to always follow the training they are given and to stick to risk assessed routes.
“The matter is now in the hands of our insurers.”
Terri Chandler, who saw the drama unfold in the park on Sunday, June 18, 2017, said the injured man appeared to be in a “lot of pain”.
Speaking at the time, Mrs Chandler, from Hethersett, said: “The police said if I hadn’t screamed they wouldn’t be here today because both wheels would have gone over them and they wouldn’t have survived it.”
A HSE spokesman said: “Following the incident, HSE alongside the police investigated to determine the cause.
“While the company was investigated by HSE, and a notice of contravention (NOC) was issued, ultimately the police found the driver of the 4x4, as an individual, culpable and he was prosecuted in January of this year.”