A lorry driver from Newark has been jailed for three-and-a-half years after being found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving because he was distracted by his mobile phone at the wheel.
He appeared in Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing after a four-day trial, having pleaded guilty not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.
On Monday, 12 December 2016, just after 8am, a 38-tonne articulated lorry, driven by the defendant, collided with a Ford Transit van on the A617 near Hockerton. The 58-year-old driver of the van was killed on impact.
Evidence presented to the court included the drivers dashcam footage and work and personal mobile phones. It demonstrated that the lorry driver had made calls on both mobile phones as well as programmed his SatNav while on the move.
At the time of the collision, the driver had ended a phone call and within a matter of seconds lost control, veered onto the wrong side of the road and into the path of the oncoming Transit van, leaving the van driver no time to avoid the collision.
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.”
In addition to his prison sentence, the man was also banned from driving for three years and must take an extended retest should he wish to drive again.
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