A 47-year-old man has been convicted and jailed for 4 and a half years for causing death by dangerous driving after he drove his lorry into a broken down car in which a young woman was sitting.
He did not see the car in time to avoid it because he was looking at his mobile phone. He has also been banned from driving for more than 4 years.
Dariusz Tokarczyk, of Kennion Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to the charge at Reading Crown Court today (20/3) and was sentenced at the same hearing.
He was arrested on 29 March 2016.
On 22 March just before 9.30pm, Tokarczyk was driving his lorry on the southbound carriageway of the A34 just north of the M4 junction at Chieveley, Berkshire.
Further ahead on the same carriageway Jodie Moss, aged 21, from Swindon, Wiltshire, was sitting in her car, a Vauxhall Corsa. Her car had, according to forensic examiners, suffered “a catastrophic engine failure”. Her car was stationary in the inside lane, she had switched on its hazard warning lights.
According to dashcam footage the road was not busy and other drivers are seen to manoeuvre past her vehicle.
Watch the footage released by the police (warning: shocking images)
Det Sgt Ashley Hannibal, senior investigating officer, said: “This is a tragic case, which could have so easily been avoided. The driver was using his phone.
“Officers and forensic investigators painstakingly examined the dashcam footage from the inside of the lorry looking out onto the road. After watching the footage frame by frame they managed to spot the reflection of what transpired to be the lit screen of a mobile phone held by the lorry driver.
“While this sentence will not take away the pain and feelings of loss for Jodie’s family and friends, I hope that it will send a message to all drivers about the dangers of using mobile phones.
“Sadly, this case is not an isolated incident it is one of many that we have been or are investigating, which show the tragic and awful consequences of using a mobile phone while you are driving.”