Brake failure led to the mobile crane being driven by Allan Woodrow in March 2009 running away down a hill in East Morton, near Bingley and crashing into a tractor and trailer, killing its driver, Colin Chew.
Mr Woodrow stood accused of using his brakes for "too long and too much" as he came down the hill, causing the brakes to fail. The 49-year-old had 20 years’ experience as a crane operator but was unfamiliar with the roads where he was driving that day.
He told the court how he locked his vehicle in second gear and put his foot on the exhaust brake as he started down the winding 17% gradient, in accordance with best practice. With the brakes failing, he gained speed and tried to pull on the handbrake, but to no effect.
The jury at Bradford Crown Court took less than an hour to acquit Mr Woodrow of causing the death by dangerous driving, and an alternative charge of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.
Further reports of the hearing can be found at www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk, which followed the case closely.