Fatal crash lorry driver was watching porn

A lorry driver was browsing sex websites on his mobile phone when he ploughed into a stationary car, killing a young teaching assistant, a court has heard.

Teaching assistant Laura Jane Thomas, aged 20, who has been killed in a crash
Teaching assistant Laura Jane Thomas, aged 20, who has been killed in a crash

Ian Glover was flicking through profiles of women on an explicit dating website when he hit a Vauxhall killing 20-year-old Laura Jane Thomas, who lived near Stafford.

Her fiancé Lewis Anthony Pagett was also seriously injured in the smash.

Glover, 44, was sentenced to five years in prison at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

He admitted causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The court heard that Glover, of Sunbeam Way, Birmingham, had worked as a driver for Sainsbury's for 10 years.

He was driving a 44-tonne Mercedes lorry to Shrewsbury on the A5 between Telford and Shrewsbury at 8.20am on July 21 last year when the accident happened.

Laura, of Hunters Close, Great Haywood, was travelling to Aberystwyth for a day by the sea with Lewis.

But the couple's car had broken down and they had been forced to pull up on a grass verge with the hazard lights on.

They got out of the car and stood the other side of the barrier on the A5.

Lewis was on the phone to his father when the crashed happened.

As a result of the smash the car flew over the safety barrier killing Miss Thomas.

Glover told police that he could not remember what had happened before the crash.

But tests on three mobile phones found in his lorry revealed that he was looking at the dating sites.

Mr Hugh O'Brien Quinn, prosecuting, said: "Mr Glover said that the only distraction in his car was the radio.

"But two of the three phones found showed one site had been used while moving more than 10 times, including while on the M54 and the A5.

"It was a clear day and the Vauxhall would've been visible for a quarter of a mile but the defendant did not see it at all and drove straight into it."

Glover was travelling at between 50mph and 56 mph.

Mr Paul Rogers, defending, said Mr Glover was 'deeply ashamed' that he had viewed the websites while driving.

Judge Robin Onions, sentencing im yesterday, said: "You were on these sites at the point of impact.

"For many miles you were not paying proper attention.

"This was utterly avoidable."