Lorry driver who was using his phone pleads guilty over triple fatal A303 crash

Tina Ince, Alex Britton and Tom Watson died in the crash on the A303 near Andover.

A lorry driver has admitted causing the deaths of three people in a crash that happened as he was using his mobile phone.

Alex Britton, Tina Ince and Tom Watson were all killed in a collision along the A303 near Andover, Hampshire on 25 August 2021.

Tina Ince, 58, from Portsmouth and Tom Watson, 30, from Southampton, had stopped to help Alex Britton, 28, also from Southampton, who had broken down on the westbound carriageway.

Michal Kopaniarz, 40, from Shropshire, pleaded guilty to causing their deaths by dangerous driving at Winchester Crown Court.

Michal Kopaniarz was remanded in custody following the plea hearing.

Kopaniarz also admitted perverting the course of justice by destroying a Samsung mobile he was using at the time of the collision.

A Hampshire police spokesman said previously: "The collision involved a Vauxhall Astra, a Mercedes food delivery van, a HGV and a DAF recovery truck.

"Sadly, Alex Britton, 28, from Fifth Avenue, Portsmouth, Tina Ince, 58, from Lydgate Road, Southampton, and Tom Watson, 30, from Cheriton Avenue, Southampton, all from separate vehicles, were pronounced dead at the scene."

Simon Jones, prosecuting, told the court: "This defendant knew in August 2021 that it was his dangerous driving that caused the death of three people and he knew that his destruction of his phone was done with a specific purpose."

Samantha Ball, defending, said: "Mr Kopaniarz is taking full responsibility for what happened that day."

The collision happened on the A303 near Andover

Judge Angela Morris adjourned the case for sentencing on February 24 and remanded Kopaniarz in custody until then.

She also imposed an interim driving disqualification.

Judge Morris said Kopaniarz "knew he would be pleading guilty" in what is a "very sensitive and serious case" and arrived at court promptly.

"But having now pleaded guilty to such serious matters as these, I note there have been concerns in relation to his mental health, quite understandably given the nature of the offences he has pleaded guilty to.

"It seems to me in those circumstances that bail must be withdrawn at this stage. The defendant will now be remanded in custody."

Aaron Law, the partner of Alex Britton, who was in court, said: "I am very happy with today's outcome. As far as I am concerned he should have been pleading guilty anyway because he was obviously at fault. And I very much hope to see the right sentence handed down when that day comes."