Five years for lorry driver who was texting on M62 when he caused double fatal accident

Five years for lorry driver who was texting on M62 when he caused double fatal accident

The accident scene

Mark and Tamsie McHale, who died in the crash

First published in News
Last updated

A lorry driver who was either reading or writing a text on his phone when he caused a horrific motorway pile-up on the M62 near Bradford in which a married couple died has been jailed for five years.

Mark McHale, 46, and his wife Tamsie, 43, from Bishop Auckland, County Durham, were killed on the M62 as they headed to Manchester Airport to fly to Cuba to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday how HGV driver Ethen Roberts had sent and received dozens of text messages while he was driving.

On the day of the tragedy, Roberts, 44, moved his truck into the middle lane to overtake another vehicle in an area near the junction with the M606 at Chain Bar, which was limited to 50mph because of narrow lanes and roadworks.

As the road ahead started to rise his HGV, with a 19 ton load, slowed and cars on the inside began catching up with him, one of which was driven by Mr McHale.

The court heard that the lorry was seen to veer into the McHales' car, pushing it in front of his lorry before it was then propelled into the third lane, facing the wrong way.

The lorry swerved to the right, then the left, before it jack-knifed and fell on top of the McHales' Audi, killing the couple inside.

Roberts, of Ings Lane, Immingham admitted two charges of causing the deaths of Mr and Mrs McHale by dangerous driving on July 25 last year.

He was jailed for five years and three months and disqualified from driving for five years.

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