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Speeding lorry driver 'wearing flip-flops' convicted of causing woman's death

Emergency services at the scene of the accident Photo: ITV Border

A speeding lorry driver has been found guilty of causing the death of a "much loved" Cumbrian woman by dangerous driving.

Carlisle Crown Court heard 44-year-old Jaroslaw Mieczan was probably "distracted" moments before his HGV strayed on to the wrong side of the A689 near the city last November.

Westbound Mieczan swerved to avoid a Ford Fiesta in front of him which was waiting to turn right.

But in doing so, the Polish national "steered directly" into an oncoming Fiat Panda driven by 86-year-old Maureen Smith.

Driving within the speed limit, Mrs Smith, of Heads Nook, had no time to react and died at the scene.

Maureen Smith Credit: Cumbria Police

Mieczan denied causing death by dangerous driving, claiming he did his best to avoid a collision.

But on Thursday 5 April, after a trial, he was found guilty, unanimously.

A jury heard Mieczan was travelling at 54mph - above the 50mph HGV limit - immediately before he crashed on a straight stretch of road on a clear afternoon, and wearing flip-flops.

Eye witnesses spoke of him going "too fast" immediately before impact.

Judge Barbara Forrester adjourned the case. Mieczan was remanded in custody, and will be sentenced tomorrow.

Speaking after Mrs Smith's death, her family said: "She was a very much loved Mum, Grandma, Great Grandma, Sister and Aunty who had many friends." They added: "We will treasure every memory of her."