Mon, 31 Oct 2016
A LORRY driver responsible for the deaths of three children and a woman on the A34 has been sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Tomasz Kroker (pictured) was using his mobile phone for at least seven seconds when his lorry ploughed into stationary traffic at 50mph.
The moment's distraction resulted in the deaths of Tracey Houghton, aged 45, her two sons Josh and Ethan Houghton, aged 13 and 11, and her partner's daughter Aimee Goldsmith,11.
They had been traveling back to Bedfordshire after a family holiday.
Mrs Houghton's partner, Mark Goldsmith, was traveling in the car behind and witnessed the horrific crash.
Five other people were injured in the eight-vehicle collision between the junctions for East Ilsley and West Ilsley at 5.10pm on August 10.
Reading Crown Court heard today that the family car was pushed under a lorry and compressed to a third of its size.
Kroker, aged 30 from Tarjan Walk, Andover, pleaded guilty at Reading Crown Court earlier this month to four counts of death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for each count of death by dangerous driving, to run concurrently, at Reading Crown Court today (Monday).
He was also given four years for the count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, also to run concurrently, and disqualified from driving for a mimimum of five years.
Det Sgt Gavin Collier, from the 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 and horrific circumstances.
"No sentence will bring back Tracy, Aimee, Josh and Ethan but their families have asked that we reinforce how dangerous it is to use a mobile phone while driving."
Gavin Hernandez, District Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "It is unimaginable to think of the emotional impact that this incident will have on the man and teenage boy, who witnessed, at close range, the deaths of four members of their own family.
"I hope that the conviction and today's sentence will in some way help them, their family and friends come to terms with this tragic event.
"I also hope that those injured continue with their recovery. My thoughts are very much with them all at this time."
More to follow