Tue, 21 Mar 2017
A LORRY driver who killed a young Swindon woman last year after the lorry he was driving ploughed into her car on the A34 near Chieveley while he was looking at his mobile telephone was yesterday (Mon) jailed for over four years.
The death was one of three fatal accidents on the A34 in the last 12 months involving drivers using their mobile telephones at the wheel resulting in the deaths of six people, including three children.
According to Thames Valley Police, yesterday evening, 47-year-old Dariusz Tokarczyk, of Kennion Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, was convicted and sentenced at Reading Crown Court to four and a half years’ imprisonment.
He pleaded guilty to causing for death by dangerous driving after he drove his lorry into a broken down car in which a young woman was sitting, while looking at his mobile phone.
On March 22, 2016, just before 9.30pm, Tokarczyk was driving his lorry on the southbound carriageway of the A34 just north of the M4 junction at Chieveley, Berkshire.
Further ahead on the same carriageway Jodie Moss, aged 21, from Swindon, Wiltshire, was sitting in her car, a Vauxhall Corsa.
Her car had, which according to forensic examiners, suffered “a catastrophic engine failure," was stationary in the inside lane, and she had switched on its hazard warning lights.
The lorry Tokarczyk was driving ploughed straight into hers and sadly she died at the scene.
He was arrested on March 29, 2016.
Det Sgt Ashley Hannibal, senior investigating officer, said dashcam footage showed the reflection of the lit screen of a mobile telephone held by Tokarczyk.
The tragic case could easily have been avoided he said:
“While this sentence will not take away the pain and feelings of loss for Jodie’s family and friends, I hope that it will send a message to all drivers about the dangers of using mobile phones," he said.
“Sadly, this case is not an isolated incident it is one of many that we have been or are investigating, which show the tragic and awful consequences of using a mobile phone while you are driving.”
This month also saw Lewis Stratford, aged 24, jailed for three years and eight months for killing another motorist in a collision on the A34 at East Ilsley.
Stratford, aged 24, of Field Avenue, Oxford, admitted to using his mobile phone to make a series of "emotional phone calls" prior to and at the time of the collision on June 11 last year.
His Vauxhall Corsa collided into the central reservation and crossed onto the opposite carriageway colliding head-on with a BMW shortly before 10pm.
The driver of the BMW, 28-year-old Gavin Roberts, sustained life-threatening injuries and died in hospital four days after the incident.
Following the fatal crash a petition was launched by Mr Roberts' partner Meg Williamson calling for the speed limit to be reduced from 70mph to 50mph on the dual carriageway.
The petition has so far gained more than 2,400 signatures.
In a statement Mr Roberts' father Geoff, said his son was "A great guy, a delightful person,"
"My son died because the other driver was using his mobile phone," said Mr Roberts.
Last October (2016) lorry driver Tomasz Kroker, was sentenced to ten years in jail, after pleading guilty to four counts of death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Kroker, aged 30, of Tarjan Walk, Andover, was using his mobile phone for at least seven seconds when his lorry ploughed into stationary traffic at 50mph on the A34 near East Ilsley on August 10, 2016, killing three children and a woman.
Five other people were injured in the eight-vehicle collision which pushed a family car under a lorry and compressed it to a third of its size.