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Porn-watching trucker jailed after death crash

John Kirk - jailed for five years Credit: Cleveland Police
Scene of crash on A19 Credit: Harry Whitehouse

A lorry driver who was looking at porn on his mobile phone before he fell asleep at the wheel killing another trucker has been jailed for five years.

John Kirk of Boston in Lincolnshire was driving his articulated lorry on the A19 near Middlesbrough when he ran into another lorry and a Ford Focus on the hard shoulder. Their drivers were exchanging details after a minor accident.

The truck driver who died - 24 year old Andrew Nimmo from Murton, County Durham - was due to marry his fiance Janinne Leslie within a year. The car driver, Lada Khazanovych, a pianist from Darlington, was badly injured.

Kirk had had only four to six hours sleep in the 31 hours before the crash and had also been holding down another full-time job at a printers.

Matthew Gent, defending, said that Kirk's wife had left him since the crash and he had been in jail since his last court appearance in November at his request. Kirk was jailed for five years and banned for five years and until he passes an extended driving test. He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and falsely recording rest days.

It was a straight road and there was ample opportunity to see those vehicles. When you were alerted to their presence on waking it was too late to do anything about it

– Judge Mrs Justice Simler

Severe disruption on A19

Photo of traffic jams on A19 Tees flyover. Credit: Brian Moore

There are severe traffic problems on the A19 near the Tees flyover after an accident in which two cars caught fire.

The Highways agency confirmed that the road was closed after the accident on the northbound carriageway near the Portrack sliproad. It happened at about 5.20pm (Thursday). No one was injured.

The southbound lanes are now open again.

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Appeal for witnesses to crash that killed rugby star

Police have appealed for two drivers who may have witnessed a fatal crash near Hartlepool to come forward.

Keri Holsdworth, 36, was a former Scottish rugby international. Her Renault Clio was involved in a crash on the A19 with a dark blue BMW estate at about 4:30pm on Friday 13th June. She died in hospital the next day.

Keri Holdsworth's family said they were devastated by her death Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA

Cleveland Police officers are trying to make contact with a military forces medic, driving a military ambulance, who stopped to offer first aid.

They also want to hear from the driver of a light coloured or white van who was using the nearby junction to Dalton Piercy.

Ms Holdsworth, who won 15 caps for Scotland, was working as a physiotherapist. She was described as a "positive and upbeat" person who will be sorely missed.

Appeal after man dies in A19 collision

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man from Eaglescliffe died in a collision on the northbound carriageway of the A19 near the Cleveland Tontine.

It happened just after 7pm on Tuesday 28 January at the start of the off-slip for the A172 to Stokesley when a silver Audi TT left the road and crashed into a road sign

The driver of the car, a 55-year-old man, died at the scene of the crash. He was the only occupant of the car.

Officers are appealing for anyone with anyone who saw the silver Audi travelling along the A19 at around 7pm or witnessed the collision itself, to get in contact with them.

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TRAVEL: A19 reopens after tanker spill

A section of the A19 southbound which was closed due to a tanker spillage has now reopened.

The southbound junction with the A689 near Wolviston on Teesside closed last night after flammable liquid spilled onto the carriageway.

Police said there was no issue for drivers or those living nearby.

The road reopened shortly before midnight.

Car overturns on A19 on Tyneside

Police are dealing with a collision on the A19 in North Tyneside. It happened at 1.10pm this afternoon, Friday, January 17, on the A19 northbound between Silverlink and Holystone, when a car overturned.

One carriageway is currently closed and there is traffic congestion in the area. Police, the fire service and ambulance service are currently at the scene where the occupants of the vehicle are receiving treatment.

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