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Lorry driver caught using phone seconds before fatal crash jailed for five years

A lorry driver who is caught on camera checking his mobile phone just before a fatal crash in Dumfries and Galloway has been jailed for five years.

Missionary worker Yvonne Blackman, 66, died after the lorry driven by David Shields crashed into her car in a line of traffic in Dumfries last February.

Shields, 34, previously pleaded guilty to causing her death by dangerous driving and was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on Friday, the Crown Office said.

The court heard that before the crash the recovery driver’s attention was repeatedly focused on the dash-mounted mobile in the cab of his lorry.

Immediately before the collision his attention was on the mobile phone again and he failed to notice and react to the line of traffic ahead of him until it was too late.

CCTV footage from inside the cab shows him checking his phone for 18 seconds in the run-up to the crash.

David Shields was captured on camera using a mobile phone just before a fatal crash. Credit: Crown Office

His lorry collided with the rear of Mrs Blackman’s car, causing it to be propelled into the rear of another car before it was pushed on to the opposing carriageway where it was struck again by the lorry.

David Green, head of the Scottish fatalities investigation unit, said: "David Shields’s dangerous driving has irrevocably damaged many lives and our thoughts go to the family of Yvonne Blackman.

"Driving while handling a mobile phone, in any context, is illegal and dangerous, and can have the most serious of consequences."

The crash happened on the A75 Gretna to Stranraer road near to the Lockerbie Road roundabout junction in Dumfries on February 8 last year.

Mrs Blackman, from Lockerbie, had been on her way to meet fellow volunteers at the time.

She suffered severe injuries and died in hospital on February 22, 2017.

Shields was also disqualified from driving for seven and a half years.