A woman who killed a man in a head-on collision because she was distracted by her mobile phone just seconds beforehand has been jailed.
Durham Crown Court heard how Katie Foster had sent a text message 25 seconds before the collision and received a reply nine seconds before it, while her phone was under her leg. She had been driving too close to vehicles in front of her, leading her to brake too late and swerve into the opposite carriageway, leading to a head-on collision with 36-year-old Lee Cain’s Peugeot in March 2016.
Mr Cain had been planning to donate his kidney to his brother.
Foster, 20, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was sentenced to seven months in a young offenders institution. She was 18 at the time of the accident in which she suffered back and neck injuries. Her three passengers were unhurt.
Mr Cain’s mother, Gail, issued a statement which was read out by a friend of the family, saying the night of her son’s death was the worst of her life. His untimely death had prevented him donating the kidney needed by his brother, and his 70-year-old father, Brian, had to step in.
Foster was also banned from driving for 15 months and must pass an extended test before taking to the roads again.
Outside the court, acting Sgt Mark Shepherd of Durham Police said: “A young girl has had her liberty taken away. But we have to remember that she took someone’s life.
“It could not be proved that she was on her phone at the time of the collision, but we do know that she was using it and generally distracted.”
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