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Lorry driver's "needless and avoidable" phone use caused family's death on A34

Driver ploughed into stationary traffic near East Ilsley killing mother and three children

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Police release more information about fatal A34 crash following man's guilty plea

A lorry driver whose "needless and avoidable" use of a mobile phone behind the wheel which led to the deaths of three children and a woman on the A34 has pleaded guilty. 

Tomasz Kroker (pictured main) was using his mobile phone when his lorry ploughed into stationary traffic on the A34 between the junctions for East Ilsely and West Ilsley at 5.10pm on August 10. 

Tracey Houghton, aged 45, from Bedfordshire (pictured below), and the three children travelling in the car with her – her two sons Josh Houghton aged 11 and Ethan Houghton aged 13 and her partner's daughter Aimee Goldsmith, aged 11 - all died at the scene.

A further five people were injured in the collision.

Police have said that a slow moving articulated lorry had caused a tailback and that two other lorries and four smaller vehicles were all stationary behind it.

Kroker's lorry then drove into the back of the vehicles at an estimated 50mph.

Kroker, aged 30 from Tarjan Walk, Andover, pleaded guilty at Reading Crown Court today to four counts of death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Det Sgt Gavin Collier, from Serious Injury Collision Unit said “This was a truly devastating case where a mother and three children lost their lives and a man was seriously injured.

"The most tragic element of this incident is that it was avoidable. Tomasz Kroker was looking at his mobile phone while driving, this needless and avoidable act has resulted in the most devastating circumstances.

"Phones are a distraction and ultimately these are the consequences that can so easily occur as a result."

Kroker will be sentenced at Reading Crown Court on October 31.

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Article comments

  • Newspage

    12/10/2016 - 09:09

    So devastating. I guarantee we have all looked at our phones while driving, or picked something up, looked in the mirror. Any of these things. We don't quite realise the effect it can have until something like this happens. More awareness needs to be raised on this topic. Sending big hugs to all effected by this terrible accident.


  • Blizzard

    11/10/2016 - 14:02

    So nothing to do with the actual road. Wasn't speed related. This could have happened on any road. Every day, every single day I see people on their phone, doing their make up in the mirror while moving, eating, texting from their laps. Want to do something for road safety. Harsh penalties, including hogging lane 2. My heart goes out to the family, but this could have been anyone of our families.


    • Villager

      12/10/2016 - 14:02

      Actually the road has a lot to do with it. There are only two lanes, and consequently the traffic was stationary behind a slow lorry. If the traffic had been moving at normal speeds, the impact of this fool's behaviour would have been greatly lessened. There is a case for a crawler lane on Gore Hill and other spots along the A34.


    • Newspage

      12/10/2016 - 09:09

      Totally agree with your comment. This road is terrible. Yes it was the drivers fault for using his phone but the road and speed made this accident worse than it should have been.