Earlier this week, lorry driver Tomasz Kroker was sentenced to 10 years of prison, five of which will be behind bars, after he failed to stop for stationary traffic because he was checking his phone.
The crash which occurred in August on the A34 in Berkshire, also left one other motorist with a senior injury and four others with minor injury.
— Lyca Dilse (@LycaDilse) November 1, 2016
The incident, which was filmed on the cab’s dash cam, caught the moment that Mr Kroker paid no attention to the stationary traffic as he checked his phone. His vehicle, which was travelling at 50mph, hit a Vauxhall Zafira, that in-turn shunted a Corsa underneath another HGV in front of it. The Corsa was reduced to “a third of its usual size” killing 45 year old Tracey Houghton, her two sons Ethan (13) and Joshua (11) and her step daughter Aimee (11).
The judge residing over the proceedings, Maura McGowen, said that Mr Kroker “might as well have had his eyes shut”. Mr Kroker pleaded guilty to all counts and was told he would receive no leniency for his actions. He will now spend at least five years behind bars, as part of a ten year sentence.
The family of the victims don’t believe the sentence is an adequate deterrent or warning to mobile phone users behind the wheel. The mother of 11 year old Aimee who died in the accident told reporters “The 10-year sentence will not ease our pain and suffering, nor do we believe it will send a strong enough message to those who lack the self-restraint to not use a mobile phone when driving.”
— Press Association (@PA) October 31, 2016
Not worth the risk
If you search for examples of crashes or incidents that have been caused by a motorist using a mobile phone whilst driving, you will find plenty of results. These incidents, as displayed in the accident caused by Mr Kroker, often have the potential to cause serious injury to other motorists.
The question on the lips of those affected by a mobile related collision will often be “was it worth risking a life?” Some of the common reasons given by motorists for checking their mobile phones while driving include changing music, boredom, to send a text or to make a call. Each of these reasons are 100% trivial, when you weigh up the risk of injury that being distracted from driving carries. In Mr Kroker’s case, that risk took the lives of four people, three of which were young children and that is something he will now have to live with for the rest of his life.
“What if I’m injured?”
There are legal repercussions expected when a driver is reckless behind a wheel. The police will often file criminal charges but you are also able to ensure any injuries you, your family or friends suffer are treated seriously.
It is very easy for distracted drivers to hit cars at faster speeds, potentially causing more harm as they are not monitoring speed, road positioning or checking for hazards. In the case of a serious injury a specialist legal firm like ourselves will be required to look deeply into the situation and arrange much more than just a financial settlement. An injured person may need surgery, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, counselling and a host of other services.
Here at Sincere Law, we have a network of specialists across the country dedicated to helping serious accident victims and their families attempt to put their lives back together as best they can.
If you feel this could be something that you, your family or friends could use following an incident on the road, you can call in confidence on 0800 092 2896 for free, impartial advice on how best to move forward in your circumstances.
If you would prefer to contact online we also have a contact form where you can leave details. We can then call you when it convenient to talk about the incident and what you may need from us.