A Polish lorry driver who killed a mother and her three children in an eight-vehicle pile-up caused while he flicked through music on his mobile phone, has been jailed for ten years by a court today.
Tomasz Kroker who pleaded guilty at a previous hearing of causing the death of Tracey, Josh and Ethan Houghton and Aimee Goldsmith by dangerous driving after a horror crash on the A34 in Oxfordshire earlier in the year.
Appearing before a High Court Judge Mrs Justice Maura Mcgowan for Sentencing at Reading Crown Court. Court room number four fell silent as the prosecution read out the facts.
Passing sentence, Judge Maura McGowan said his attention had been so poor that he “might as well have had his eyes closed”.
The court heard that the family were travelling back to their home in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, from a family camping trip.
Tracey’s partner Mark Goldsmith who was following in the car behind with his son Jake, 13, witnessed the horrific collision that killed his partner and his children after Kroker lorry ploughed into the back of them.
Forty-five-year-old Mrs Houghton was killed along with sons Ethan, aged 13 years, and Josh, aged 11 years, as well as step-daughter Aimee Goldsmith, also aged 11 years, when their Vauxhall Corsa was crushed underneath another lorry in the concertina crash.
Mr Goldsmith and his son were among 12 people injured in the eight-vehicle pile-up on the A34 near Newbury, Berkshire, on August 10.
Standing in the glass fronted dock surrounded by two prison guard Kroker stood in the dock at Reading Crown Court as the judge handed him a ten year jail sentence after ramming the family in his lorry at 50 miles and hour. Just an hour earlier he had signed a declaration to his employer, promising he would not use his phone at the wheel.
The father-of-one was also sentenced on single count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving following the crash which happened at around 5.10pm on August 10.
The court heard and was played an in cab video showing for 7 seconds that Kroker was using his mobile phone to change music in his cab when his lorry ploughed into stationary cars on the A34 on the northbound section of the trunk road.
Four lorries and four cars were involved in the fatal crash in total which killed the mother and the three children from Dunstable, Bedfordshire. The northbound carriageway was closed as emergency services were scrambled.
The crash closed a six-mile section of the A34, from junction 13 of the M4, near Newbury, Berkshire, between the villages of East and West Ilsley and it remained shut for more than 18 hours.
The court further heard that an other man and a teenage boy were taken to hospital with minor injuries while another nine people were treated at the scene on the northbound carriageway for minor injuries.