LCC says Thames Materials must face corporate manslaughter investigation

LCC is calling for Hanwell-based company Thames Materials and its directors to be investigated for corporate manslaughter after the conviction of lorry driver Dennis Putz.

Putz got seven years in jail for killing cyclist Cathriona Patel outside Oval tube in June 2009 while driving drunk and using his mobile phone.

The convicted lorry driver had twice previously been jailed for driving offences: six months for reckless driving in 1995 and another jail term in 2003 after 16 counts of driving without a licence

Thames Materials has previously had its hauliers licence revoked by the authorities, only to have it restored on appeal, after what are believed to have been proceedural errors.

LCC lorry campaigner Charlie Lloyd said, "By employing a dangerous driver with a string of convictions Putz's employers, Thames Materials, failed in their responsibility to protect the public.

"We'll be asking every decision-maker involved with this case why Thames Materials isn't being sued for corporate manslaughter?"

LCC has repeatedly made the case that every company has a duty to ensure their drivers are competent and capable of doing their work in a way that doesn't endanger the public or themselves.

Lloyd said, "This was a crash waiting to happen because the regulations are too lax and they're not properly enforced."

LCC's chief executive Ashok Sinha said, "Our No More Lethal Lorries campaign will continue until every single operator takes full responsibility for keeping drivers like Putz off our streets."

UK road transport industry way behind

  • There has never been a prosecution in the UK for corporate manslaughter after a road death
  • Safety culture in road transport is way behind the rest of the transport industry - such as air, sea or rail;
  • Work-related crashes killed over 800 people on our roads in 2008.

Thames Materials has refused to comment since the conviction, not even to offer condolences to the bereaved family.