Ex-BBC newsreader Ashley Blake's lorry blunder closes Dartford tunnel during rush hour (From This Is Local London)
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Ex-BBC newsreader Ashley Blake's lorry blunder closes Dartford tunnel during rush hour
A FORMER BBC newsreader’s new career as a lorry driver hit the brakes after he caused the Dartford Tunnel to close during rush hour.
Presenter Ashley Blake was sacked from his job after being convicted of violent wounding and was released in June 2010 after serving nine months.
The 44-year-old, from Birmingham, has since embarked on a new career as a HGV driver after qualifying in a two-week training course in April this year.
But just before 9am on December 4, as Mr Blake approached the tolls, the mammoth double-decker vehicle, whch is almost 17ft high, triggered warnings because it was too big.
Mr Blake told News Shopper: "I was coming back to the Midlands from Rochester and it was my first time in that part of the country dragging this oversized vehicle.
"I was just about to enter the tunnel when on the left hand side the matrix signs started flashing like crazy.
"I thought ‘Oh what an idiot’ at whoever was causing the blockage and as soon as that thought entered my mind, I thought ‘Oh my God, it’s me’."
Mr Blake explained he was forced to stop and display hazard warning lights.
He added the Highways Agency responded quickly and after all the toll booths were closed, he was able to reverse his 46ft long trailer half a mile back from the tunnel.
He added: "It was highly embarrassing. It called upon all of my skills to reverse this oversized trailer back half a mile while red-faced."
Mr Blake instantly took to Facebook to apologise to commuters stuck in the jam he had caused, stating: "I’m sorry to all the rush hour commuters.
"The only mitigation I can offer is that this is the first time I’ve visited this part of the country in an "oversized vehicle".
But as expected, Mr Blake experienced the full wrath of the angry motorists who watched him reverse at the time.
He said:"Some of the words they were saying are unprintable. I could understand that because I used to live in London and I know how annoying it can be.
"Unfortunately, this time I was the idiot. I confess and seek forgiveness."
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