M1 trucker jailed for smashing into horsebox – killing animal inside

This is the shocking moment a trucker smashed into a horsebox stranded on the M1 – killing the animal inside. Nicholas Cole, 47, failed to notice the box before he careered into it, with the impact causing his lorry to overturn.

He had narrowly missed highways workers before the broad daylight crash happened on July 17 last year. Dashcam footage showed his HGV approach from a distance before Cole tried unsuccessfully to swerve away at the last second. The lorry smashed into a National Highways vehicle and the horsebox before overturning on the carriageway between junctions 14 and 15 in Northamptonshire.

The driver and passengers were waiting on the bank and were unharmed but the horse was killed. Cole, of Harrison Road, Wordsley, Stourbridge[1], said he had been listening to the radio before the collision and tried to swerve to avoid the Highways vehicle.

National Highways had closed one lane of the motorway with a vehicle displaying flashing amber and red lights and a red X gantry sign – but Cole failed to move out of the way. He admitted dangerous driving at Northampton Magistrates’ Court in February.

He was jailed for 42 weeks on Thursday, May 9 and banned from driving for 21 months at Northampton Crown Court.

The lorry swerves before hitting the National Highways vehicle
The lorry swerves before hitting the National Highways vehicle

Sgt Richard Hill, from Northamptonshire Police’s Roads Policing Team, said: “As people will be able to see from the footage, this was a shocking collision that sadly resulted in a horse being killed. It’s a stark example of how important it is to keep your focus on the road when you’re driving and to ensure you read the gantry signs displayed on the motorway.

“Cole would have had plenty of time to see the red X and yet still caused this collision. I hope this sentence is a lesson to him and to other road users. Driving a vehicle is a big responsibility and it is paramount you are always aware of your surroundings.”


  1. ^ Stourbridge (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  2. ^