Lorry driver was using phone when he caused killer crash

Tomasz Kroker, 30, had been using his mobile phone Credit: Thames Valley Police

A lorry driver has admitted causing the deaths of four members of the same family in an eight-vehicle pile-up on the A34 in Berkshire.

A court heard today how Tomasz Kroker was distracted by his mobile phone just moments before he ploughed into stationary traffic, killing a woman and three children.

The crash happened in August on a notorious stretch of the A34 between Chieveley and West Ilsley. Reading Crown Court heard today that 30-year-old Tomasz Kroker - from Andover - was changing the music on his mobile phone just before he ploughed into a queue of stationary vehicles on the northbound carriageway. There were four cars and four lorries involved. In one of the cars was a family who were heading back to their home in Bedfordshire after a camping holiday. 45-year-old Tracy Houghton, her two sons Ethan and Josh and her partner's daughter Aimee Goldsmith all died.

The crash was all captured on a dash cam inside the cab of Mr Kroker's lorry. The prosecution said the footage showed him looking at his phone repeatedly for around seven seconds. It also showed the fast approaching queue of vehicles ahead. Mr Kroker pleaded guilty to four counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He'll be sentenced at the end of the month.

In the meantime a campaign to improve safety on this very busy road continues. Campaigners say steep hills, short sliproads, bends in the road and frustrations at slow over taking have all played their part in making the A34 an increasingly dangerous route.