Text trucker jailed after death crash

A LORRY driver who looked at his girlfriend's text message seconds before smashing into a man's car and killing him in a fireball was jailed for three years today.

A LORRY driver who looked at his girlfriend's text message seconds before smashing into a man's car and killing him in a fireball was jailed for three years today.

Adrian Burrows, 41, of Glebe Close, Bramford, was imprisoned after previously pleading guilty to death by dangerous driving during the crash which killed Brian Mills on the A14 near Sproughton on July 28 last year.

Ipswich Crown Court heard 41-year-old Burrows had been driving an HGV on the Felixstowe-bound carriageway when he received the text message at 8.33am.

Stephen Dyble, prosecuting told the court the crash occurred when a Ford Transit had been pulling out of a layby and another transit had decelerated to let it out.

Mr Mills, 58, of Diss, was travelling in his VW Polo behind the transit which had slowed down.

Burrows, who was in his lorry behind Mr Mills, looked down to see who had sent the text message, not realising the traffic in front had slowed.

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The court heard the trucker smashed into Mr Mills' VW, which then hit the two Ford transits in front causing a “multi-vehicle pile-up”

Mr Dyble said: “Mr Turner's (one of the transit drivers) van was projected into the air before falling on its side and landing at an angle in the near-side carriageway.

“Mr Mills' car became trapped under the defendant's lorry and was shunted down the A14 before it burst into flames and came to rest in the outside lane.”

Judge John Devaux was told Burrows had been previously disqualified from driving in March 2004 for drink driving, but had got his licence back by the time of the accident.

Neil Saunders, mitigating for Burrows, said: “This is one of the most tragic cases you will ever come across. In a matter of seconds the situation changed and as a result of that a man's life is lost.

“He (Burrows) has been a changed man since the incident and will take his guilt with him for the rest of his life.

“He understands he will go to prison today, all because of looking a phone to seen who was sending him a message.”

Judge Devaux said: “You were driving along the A14. A situation developed and it is not entirely clear what the precise sequence of events were.

“It is possible there had been another collision before the one you were involved in, but you received a text message and were preoccupied with viewing the data, causing you to fail to realise a situation had developed.

“You struck the vehicle of the deceased which caused a multi-vehicle pile-up. It is clear this incident has had a profound effect on you.”

Burrows was jailed for three years and disqualified from driving for four years.

Mr Mills was one of 13 staff from John Menzies wholesalers at Ransomes Europark, Ipswich, who scooped £118,156 on the lottery in May 2004.

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