Men convicted after stolen lorry fatally struck woman and smashed into house

Three men who stole a lorry have been found guilty of causing the death of a woman who was hit by the out-of-control vehicle just before it ploughed into a house.

Jacqueline Wileman, 58, was killed immediately when she was dragged along the road by the tractor unit of a lorry as she was out power walking near her home in the village of Brierley near Barnsley in South Yorkshire.

Barnsley lorry crash
Jacqueline Wileman (South Yorkshire Police/PA)

David Mellor, Wayne Carroll and Alan Mawhinney were convicted of causing death by dangerous driving at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday, court officials said.

Carroll was also found guilty of aggravated vehicle-taking.

The two-week trial heard the lorry left a scene of “utter carnage” after the driver lost control and the vehicle ploughed into cars and then a house, causing extensive damage to the building.

CCTV footage shown to the jury showed Mrs Wileman walking briskly along the pavement just moments before the white lorry is seen speeding past, with debris rising from a violent collision with a car just out of shot.

Mellor had taken the tractor unit from his employers and, on September 14 last year, was in the cab of the vehicle with Carroll, Mawhinney and the driver, Karn Hill, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving before the trial.

Barnsley lorry crash
Floral tributes left near the scene where the lorry crashed (Danny Lawson/PA)

The lorry was driven dangerously around the area all morning, with those inside making off from a number of petrol stations without paying.

It was spotted by a police officer in the early afternoon, who decided to follow the vehicle.

The court heard the lorry was travelling at twice the 30mph speed limit or more and on the wrong side of the road before the collision.

Prosecutor Jason Pitter QC said: “The scene was one of utter carnage, indicating the dangerous way the vehicle was being driven.”

Barnsley lorry crash
The crash left a scene of ‘utter carnage’ (Danny Lawson/PA)

Mr Pitter said Mrs Wileman “was dragged along the road causing extensive injuries and she was immediately killed, such was the speed and dangerous way the vehicle was being driven”.

Mellor, 48, of Bank End Road, Worsbrough Dale, South Yorkshire, and Mawhinney, 53, of Calder Crescent, Kendray, South Yorkshire, admitted aggravated vehicle taking during the trial.

They were both found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

Carroll, 29, of Chestnut Street, Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire, was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking.

Hill, 23, of East View, Cudworth, South Yorkshire, admitted causing death by dangerous driving before the trial.

All four men will be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday morning.

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