A lorry driver who ploughed into a stationary car and killed a woman because he was distracted by using a mobile phone was yesterday jailed for four years.
John Payne (31) was driving a new seven-and-a-half-ton lorry when it crashed at 47mph into a Peugeot 106 driven by 23-year-old Trinity Taylor on the M3 near Basingstoke, Hants, in October last year, Winchester Crown Court was told.
In the moments before the crash, Payne, from Chesham, Buckinghamshire, had been punching the keypad of the cab's mobile phone and had failed to see warning signs of an approaching queue of traffic or the queue itself which was visible for 900 metres.
Andy Houston, prosecuting, said the lorry, which was delivering Jacuzzis and baths to Dorset, was approaching junction 6 southbound on the motorway on October 17 when the crash occurred.
Mr Houston said that in the minutes before the collision Payne had told his driver's mate, William Fowell, that he wanted to find out how to use the phone, which was in a cradle, and he started punching numbers on the keypad.
"Unfortunately the defendant appeared to have been distracted by the phone and Miss Taylor had the misfortune of being at the back of that queue in lane one," Mr Houston said.
The court heard that Payne shouted "Oh, s**t" when he finally realised he could not stop in time. Miss Taylor, from Aldershot, Hants was pronounced dead at the scene.