Killer texting HGV driver handed five-year jail sentence

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Killer texting HGV driver handed five-year jail sentence

A lorry driver, who veered into the inside lane of the M62 while texting his girlfriend, has been jailed for five years after his dangerous driving led to the death of two people.

Ethan Roberts, 44, swerved across lanes, hitting hair salon boss Mark McHale, 46, and his wife Tamsie, 43, a primary school deputy head, before his 19-tonne HGV toppled over and crushed the couple's car.

Roberts cunningly deleted the text message before police arrived in an attempt to avoid being caught, the court heard.

The court also heard that Roberts, of Immingham, Lincolnshire had received 58 messages from girlfriend Helen Chapman in the three days leading up to crash – days in which the tachograph reports proved he was driving.

Sentencing, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: "Those who drive HGVs owe a particular responsibility to other road users because of the nature of the vehicle they drive and because the results of dangerous driving can be catastrophic.

"Evidence clearly shows you had a regular habit of reading and composing and sending text messages while driving.

"You received a text message very shortly before the collision and you were either reading it or composing a reply when you lost control of your lorry."

Roberts admitted two charges of causing the deaths of Mr and Mrs McHale by dangerous driving. He was jailed for five years and three months and disqualified from driving for five years.