A lorry driver who caused the death of a 21-year-old woman after crashing into her car while distracted by his mobile phone has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Dariusz Tokarczyk, 47, of Kennion Road in Harrogate, was on the southbound carriageway of the A34 near Chieveley when he hit Jodie Moss’s broken down car.
It happened just before 9.30pm on March 22 last year.
Miss Moss’s Vauxhall Corsa had suffered what forensic examiners described as a “catastrophic engine failure”. She was sat inside the car in the inside lane with the hazard lights on.
Dashcam footage from Tokarczyk’s lorry showed he was on his phone and didn’t notice the car in time, slamming into the back.
He was arrested seven days later. He pleaded guilty at Reading Crown Court last Monday and was sentenced the same day.
Senior investigating officer Det Sgt Ashley Hannibal said: “This is a tragic case, which could have so easily been avoided. Officers and forensic investigators painstakingly examined the dashcam footage from the inside of the lorry looking out on to the road.
“After watching frame by frame they managed to spot the reflection of what transpired to be the lit screen of a mobile phone held by the driver.
“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.”
This is the third case of a driver being distracted by a mobile phone causing a fatal crash on the A34 in West Berkshire in the past year.
Last June 28-year-old Gavin Roberts was killed when Lewis Stratford crashed into his car.
And in August 45-year-old Tracy Houghton, her two sons Ethan, 13, and Josh, 11, and her partner’s daughter Aimee Goldsmith, 11, all died in a crash triggered by lorry driver Tomasz Kroker.