A lorry driver who caused the deaths of two soldiers in a crash on the A66 in Cumbria has been jailed. Private James Austin and Lance Sergeant David Gartland were on their way back to Catterick Garrison when they died in September 2011.
A lorry driver has been found guilty of causing the deaths of two soldiers in an horrific crash. Colin Pattison's lorry ran into the back of an army land rover on the A66 near Stainmore, killing Private James Austin, 24, and Lance Sergeant David Gartland who was 40.
The soldiers were travelling back to Catterick Garrison in Yorkshire following a training exercise in Warcop, Cumbria. Both men were married with children.
At Carlisle Crown Court the 53 year old from Goole in Yorkshire was convicted of two counts of causing death by careless driving but cleared of two more serious counts of death by dangerous driving. The family of Private James Austin spoke to Hannah McNulty after the verdict.
Lorry driver Colin Pattison has been found guilty of two counts of causing death by careless driving of two soldiers on the A66 near Stainmore in Cumbria.
He was acquitted on two counts of the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving.
Private James Austin and Lance Sergeant David Garland died after their army land rover first hit a broken down lorry and was then hit by Pattison's HGV on the A66 near Stainmore, in Cumbria, two years ago.They were returning to Catterick Garrison following an army training exercise.
Carlisle Crown Court heard Pattison, who is 53 and from Yorkshire, was 'totally blinded' by the smoke, which was coming from the first lorry, when he drove into the smoke at around 30 miles per hour. The Prosecution said he should have slowed down more.
"Jimmy was most definitely one of life's good guys, he was my soulmate and the pain of losing him is totally indescribable. He was the perfect husband and devoted Father to our Son.
"I think I speak on behalf of everyone that had the pleasure of knowing him, the world is a much sadder place without him and although we only spent a short time of married life together I will cherish his smile and memories in my heart forever."
– Katie Austin, wife of Private James Austin
"To answer your question of how the loss of Jim has affected our lives, it's surreal. Losing a child is the most painful thing a parent will go through.
"We have been sentenced to a lifetime of pain and loss, in which nothing on earth will ever be the same again.
"Our loss has broken us and we shall never experience the joy our son brought to everyone whom he met and knew."
– Statement from mother and stepfather of Private James Austin
"Regardless of the verdict today, I have lost a much loved husband and more importantly our daughter Alice has lost her Daddy.
"Losing David has left a huge void and our lives will never be the same."
– Joanne Gartland, wife of Lance Sargeant David Gartland
A lorry driver accused of killing two soldiers on the A66 in Cumbria two years ago has told his trial he "misjudged the density" of smoke billowing across the road and said he was not driving too fast at the time.
The soldiers died after being involved in two crashes with two lorries while travelling back to Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire following a training exercise.
The driver of the second lorry, Colin Pattison, denies all the charges against him.