We are currently seeking independent witness evidence. However, in view of the accident circumstances we must hold your client fully responsible.’
I was aware of a lorry just behind me in the right-hand lane as I approached the speed camera zone and the branch-off. I could see from my offside wing mirror that it was very close to the back of my car – approximately level with my rear wheels. Everything was fine as I passed where the road branched off until, seconds later, I heard an extremely loud crash. My car was then out of my control and started to veer to the right. I knew instantly that the lorry had made contact. I managed to correct the steering and keep the car relatively straight, however the lorry continued to plough across into my lane. I was absolutely terrified. The lorry had clearly changed lanes without bothering to check whether or not it was safe to do so.
At this point, with the lorry forcing across into my lane from the right, I lifted my foot off of the accelerator pedal and continued to try to keep my car on the road. I was terrified that I would be forced off of the carriageway and down onto the road (the A205) that runs underneath. Because the lorry driver was unaware of my car being there – something which he would later confirm to me – he was not slowing down. As a result, my car, upon a second substantial impact, turned sideways so that my entire offside was pushed up against his front grill and was pushed along the carriageway until both vehicles came to rest. This second impact was where my offside front window shattered, showering me with glass.
The vehicles came to rest with the lorry occupying the majority of the left lane of the carriageway and my car wedged against the front of the lorry at a 90 degree angle to the direction of the road. My car was partially obscuring the right lane, so we were blocking both lanes of traffic. To his credit, Michael Greco did exit his vehicle fairly soon after we came to rest, however I have since sadly come to realise that this seemed more to do with the fact that he wanted to move the vehicles as soon as possible to remove any evidence rather than anything else. Having just been on the receiving end of such a surprising and terrifying experience I was sitting in my car in a state of shock. It’s no exaggeration to say that I feared for my life from the moment of the first impact. I have been driving for the best part of 8 years with no incident, so this was an unprecedented and most unwelcome situation for me. From what I can gather this is not something shared by Michael Greco, who implied to me in the conversation following the incident that he had been involved in something quite similar relatively recently. I recall him saying something along the lines of how ‘these claims can take ages’ and how he only recently had one settled. This certainly suggests to me the reason why he was so keen to move the vehicles as soon as possible and that this was a tactical move on Michael Greco’s behalf so any witnesses stuck behind would have been able to pass through.
Michael Greco exited his vehicle and came around to the front where my car was and asked if I was okay or if I was injured etc. At the time I felt quite relieved to have been alive still. I said that I thought I was okay, and then asked him why he had cut across into my lane. I asked how it was possible that he hadn’t seen me – especially as he’d been driving along in the right-hand lane behind me for the last few minutes at least. His reply was that, yes, he had been aware that I was there, but that he “assumed that I had turned off” where the road had branched to the left. I assured him that, as he could see now, I most definitely had not turned off. It was at this point that Michael Greco first muttered something about whether or not I’d seen “what a car just did up ahead”. I had no idea what he was talking about, but it subsequently dawned on me that this could be a possible reason why he had let his concentration slip so much as to forget that a car was travelling along a dual-carriageway, slightly ahead of him in the lane on the left in broad daylight. In this initial exchange, Michael Greco also said – when I asked why he didn’t appear to slow down in too much of a hurry after he first made impact – that he thought he had a puncture or that there was something wrong with his engine. Once again I assured him that the reason why he was slowing down was because he had a car wedged sideways against his front grill.
I was still in a state of shock and unsure of what to do next. Having never been in such a situation before, I asked whether we should call the police. Michael Greco suggested that because nobody was badly hurt and as the car hadn’t rolled over, it would be best to move the vehicles to the hard-shoulder. He was quite quick in asking me whether the ignition was working and the car had drive. His implication was that this was not serious enough for the police. However, in hindsight, it is obvious to me that calling the police would have absolutely been the right thing to do, and that by moving the vehicles Michael Greco knew that he was significantly raising his chances of getting away with what was a reckless and unsafe road manoeuvre as any independent witnesses would be lost. Being confused and still in shock, I agreed to move the car to the hard shoulder. He got back into his cab and reversed slightly along the carriageway. My car was freed from his grill and I managed to turn it back the right way and drive along a short distance to the hard shoulder with Michael Greco’s lorry following close behind.
Once we stopped on the hard shoulder I was finally able to get out of my car. I was experiencing quite an unpleasant tingling sensation down my right side, in my arm and leg. Here we exchanged insurance details and contact details. I made sure that I had his correct mobile number by ringing my phone from his at the scene. I then took a photo of the front of Michael Greco’s lorry, as well as the damage to my car. Michael Greco took several photographs of the significant damage to my car and his body language and general demeanour at this time suggested that he was wearing this almost as a badge of honour. This is when Michael Greco gave me the impression that he had been involved in this kind of thing before. He seemed somewhat overly friendly by this point, in quite a jovial mood, something I put down possibly to shock at the time. After all, I am not suggesting that he deliberately caused a crash, but I can understand that he would have been equally shocked, given that his lapse of concentration and judgement had resulted in such an incident. After all of this, Michael Greco drove off, leaving me to organise recovery of my vehicle from the side of the A2.
Of all this, I am most puzzled by the fact that Michael Greco would appear to admit to being involved in an incident with my car, yet he never reported it to his insurance company. He took photographs, many photographs, of the damage which my vehicle had sustained yet he never had the common decency to report this to his insurance. I find it mortifying that he can cause a collision with a car which sustained the level of damage which mine did and still not think it worthy enough to report to his insurance company. I contacted my insurance immediately on the 25th. The 25th of February is also the first time that I contacted Michael Greco’s insurance. I would then go on to contact Michael Greco's insurance company several times over the following weeks, only to be told that they had been unable to contact him. I believe the line was that they had “yet to receive a response from Michael Greco”.
I can’t believe Michael Greco has the audacity to suggest that I, a driver with eight years of experience with no previous incident, would fail to see a lorry driving along just behind me in the lane to the right of my car. It would be amusing if it wasn’t such a serious issue, as I can’t help but wonder what is more likely; that I, driving a Nissan Micra, would fail to spot a lorry driving just behind me in the lane to my right, or that a lorry – with its raised driver sight-line – would fail to see a Nissan Micra driving along in the lane to its left. Of course, the most depressing thing is that, although he has finally accepted that he was involved in this incident, Michael Greco has felt the need to completely fabricate his response. His statement that I moved from the left lane into the right, is ridiculous as I had been in the left lane since joining the A2 and had remained there, in anticipation that I would be turning off left to join the M25 towards Essex. Given the weather conditions, time of day and lightness of traffic, as well as the fact that I was driving home in no hurry as it was my day off, I had no need to be in an overtaking lane.
I dread to think that he is still on the road and able to cause accidents like these to other drivers. I would hate for someone to experience what I had to and be met with initial indifference and the response that it was their own fault. "