Prison for lorry driver who killed two grandparents in crash

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A lorry driver has been jailed for killing two grandparents when he ploughed into a queue of traffic at more than 50mph.

Martin Spratt, 70, and his wife Evelyn, 68, from Buckden in Cambridgeshire, were killed when a lorry driven by Martyn Graham crashed into stationary vehicles on the A421 Bedford bypass on January 12 last year.

The driver of a Ford Transit, the first vehicle to be hit, suffered neck injuries, while a woman in another car was seriously injured in the six-vehicle pile-up.

Graham was travelling at 56mph, had a clear view of the road ahead for almost 20 seconds and failed to brake at all before his lorry crashed into the queue.

The 58-year-old, from Canterbury Way, Stevenage, was jailed for four years and eight months at Luton Crown Court on Friday after admitting two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and two of causing serious injuries by dangerous driving, Bedfordshire Police said.

He was also banned from driving for five years.

Pc Andy Ralph, who led the investigation, said: "This was a truly tragic and totally avoidable incident in which two people died and a further two people are still struggling to deal with the aftermath of their injuries.

"At no stage throughout this whole investigation has Martyn Graham provided an explanation as to why he drove in such a dangerous manner.

"It remains a complete mystery why such an experienced driver was distracted to the point he did not take any action to avoid this tragic collision; travelling for 17 seconds with a clear view ahead and the brake lights on the stationary vehicles clearly visible for a large proportion of that time.

"Although nothing can repair the emotional damage caused by this incident, we hope that today's sentencing will provide some justice to those affected."