Family's plea to motorists after woman killed by lorry driver using his mobile phone on A303

Alex Britton was killed on the A303 near Andover in August 2021. Credit: Family handout/Hampshire Constabulary

The family of a woman killed by a distracted lorry driver have issued a plea to motorists to not use their mobile phone at the wheel.

Alex Britton, Tina Ince and Tom Watson were killed in a catastrophic incident on the A303 near Andover on 25 August 2021.

Aaron Law, Alex's fiancé, said: "One of the most devastating things I’ve ever done is break the news to my, at the time, three year old daughter that her mummy wasn’t coming back home."Being only three we thought she would find it hard to understand, but instantly she grasped what was going on and she broke down in tears."I never planned to raise two children by myself. We planned to do it as a family. I now struggle every day with simple tasks. There’s just certain things that I can’t teach them, that mummy would have taught them."

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

After Alex’s car broke down on the westbound carriageway, Tina and Tom both stopped to offer her assistance.But lorry driver, Michal Kopaniarz, 40, from Shropshire, who was watching videos and typing in his destination on his phone, did not see the three stationary vehicles ahead of him and crashed into them. All three victims were killed instantly.

Kopaniarz pleaded guilty to causing their deaths by dangerous driving and was subsequently jailed for 12 years in February 2023.Now Alex’s family have come forward to plead with motorists to put their phone away while driving, as police launch a month of action against drivers committing 'Fatal Four' offences.

  • Video from Michal Kopaniarz's dashcam captured the moment of impact

The 'Fatal Four' are the four main causes of deaths on our roads. They are impairment from drink or drugs, distraction including mobile phones, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.Roads policing officers will be out in force with increased patrols across Hampshire and Isle of Wight for the whole month of April, as part of a national campaign to target motorists who are committing these offences.Detective Constable Mark Furse, who was the Family Liaison Officer for Alex’s relatives, said: "This was a terrible incident where three people lost their lives because of one man’s selfish actions."Using your mobile phone is a huge distraction when driving but sadly we still see people doing this every day."Nothing is so important that it justifies using your phone while driving and there’s just no excuse for it."If you choose to use your mobile phone when you’re driving and it goes wrong, you will get caught and you will go to prison."

Michal Kopaniarz, 40, from Shropshire, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving Credit: PA

Ian Britton, Alex’s father, said: "She’s always in our thoughts, we have times when we’ll sit here and think about some of the good times we had, and then also think about the day."I’ve now had to get counselling to deal with the grief, no one should ever have to bury their children before them."Avril Swain, Alex’s mother, said: "When I actually found out that he had been on his phone… unimaginable, actually, that somebody in charge of that huge lorry would take his eyes off the road to look at his phone."Since the day of this incident, our lives have changed forever. There’s no turning back from it. It was catastrophic."If anybody is thinking about even peeking at their phone whilst driving, just don’t. Whatever it is, it can wait until the end of your journey or, if it is some emergency, pull over."Please don’t drive whilst being on your phone."

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