A Newark lorry driver who caused a fatal smash because he was driving distracted by two mobile phones and his satnav has been jailed for three-and-a-half years for causing death by dangerous driving.
The 36-year-old man pleaded not guilty to the charges at Nottingham Crown Court but was sentenced after a four-day trial.
The Court heard how at just after 8am on 12 December 2016 the defendant was driving a 38-tonne, fully laden articulated lorry, which collided with a Ford Transit van near Hockerton on the A617. The 58-year-old van driver died as a result of his injuries.
The driver’s dashcam, as well as his personal and work mobile phones, were used in evidence showing he had taken calls on both phones and been programming his satnav while driving.
The driver had ended a call just prior to the collision, and moments later had lost control of his vehicle and crossed the road into the path of the Transit Van. The driver of the van had no time to avoid the oncoming lorry.
Detective Sergeant Adam Cooper from Nottinghamshire Police’s Serious Collision Unit said: “This incident shows the catastrophic impact that inattention whilst driving can have. [The driver] was effectively at the hands of a lethal weapon and he showed complete disregard for the power of the machine he was driving.
“[The victim’s] death was completely avoidable. His family are left picking up the pieces and the Christmas period will now serve as a constant reminder of the tragedy. [The driver] is beginning a prison sentence and leaving his own family to cope with the impact of that.
“I cannot emphasise enough that whilst driving, full attention needs to be given to what is happening on the road. Distractions such as using mobile phones and sat navs can, in a moment, have devastating consequences that impacts on many lives.
“Nottinghamshire Police Collision Investigation team will bring those that cause death or serious injury before the courts.
“The message is simple: no phones, no distractions, no excuses.”
The driver of the lorry was jailed for three-and-a-half years and banned from driving for a further three years. Should he wish to drive again he must take an extended retest.
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Carl Millar is a highly respected and experienced drink driving solicitor who is the principal of Millars Solicitors.
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