Lorry driver faces PC death charge

Funeral of PC Mark Goodlad at Wakefield Cathedral. PC Goodlad's son Ben
Funeral of PC Mark Goodlad at Wakefield Cathedral. PC Goodlad's son Ben

A LORRY driver has been charged with causing the death of a police officer who stopped to help a stranded woman on a motorway.

PC Mark Goodlad, 41, was killed on the M1 motorway near to Crigglestone on October 24 last year.

The traffic officer had gone to help the woman driver on the hard shoulder of the southbound carriageway.

On Wednesday, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced Andrew Abernethy had been charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

Jane Cryer, district crown prosecutor with CPS West Yorkshire, said: “Following an investigation by West Yorkshire Police, our lawyers have decided that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute this offence.”

Abernethy, 44, is from the Oldham area.

He was arrested shortly after the incident and released on bail.

He is expected to appear before Wakefield Magistrates’ Court later this month.

PC Goodlad was married to Helen and dad to Ben, had been with the police force for 10 years.

He had worked in Wakefield before taking up his role with the motorway police unit.

He was also a trained family liaison officer, who offered help and support to grieving families.

An inquest, in November, heard that an articulated lorry collided with PC Goodlad, his car and the woman’s car.

A postmortem examination gave an initial cause of death as multiple injuries.

At the time, coroner’s officer Jayne Melrose said: “Valiant efforts were made to save his life but it was with great sadness that despite those efforts, PC Goodlad paid the ultimate sacrifice during the line of duty.”

The 51-year-old woman PC Goodlad was trying to help sustained injuries in the incident, but she survived.

The city came to standstill last November when PC Goodlad’s funeral took place at Wakefield Cathedral.

In a moving eulogy West Yorkshire Police, chief constable Sir Norman Bettison, said: “We shouldn’t define heroes by the way they die.

“But, recognise them instead, by the way they lived their lives. On that basis, Mark is a hero.”