Death crash lorry driver was looking at porn on his phone before fatal A19 smash in Teesside

John Kirk, 26, of Boston, Lincolnshire, who has been sentenced to five years in prison after causing death by dangerous driving
John Kirk, 26, of Boston, Lincolnshire, who has been sentenced to five years in prison after causing death by dangerous driving
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A LORRY driver who killed a Sunderland trucker after looking at porn on his phone and then falling asleep at the wheel has been given a five-year prison sentence.

Police recovered the phone from the crash scene on the A19 in Teesside after John Kirk, 26, told them that he nodded off at the wheel of his artic.

He ploughed into another lorry and a Ford Focus on the hard shoulder whose drivers were exchanging details after a minor early morning bump on August 6 last year.

The other trucker Andrew Nimmo, 24, who was originally from South Hylton in Sunderland but was living in Murton, was wearing a high visibility jacket next to the vehicles flashing hazard lights, was killed instantly.

He was due to marry his fiance Janine Leslie within a year, and the Focus driver, Lada Khazanovych, a talented pianist from Darlington, was left with devastating injuries and nightmares.

Ms Leslie, who has a five year old daughter, said in a victim impact statement that she had not been able to kiss him goodbye before the funeral.

Because of his devastating injuries his body was returned to the family in a sealed coffin.

Kirk had only four to six hours sleep in the 31 hours before the incident, and had also been holding down another full-time job at a printers.

Moments earlier he had been tailgating a delivery truck near the Mandale interchange heading South join the A19 after delivering a load in Washington and he was heading back to Spalding, Lincolnshire.

Matthew Gent, defending, said that Kirk’s wife had left him since the crash and he had been in jail since his last court appearance in November at his request.

The judge, Mrs Justice Simler, told Kirk: “You should not have been driving an articulated lorry on that road.

“It was a straight road and there was ample opportunity to see those vehicles.

“When you were alerted to their presence on waking it was too late to do anything about it.”

Kirk,of Glen Drive, Boston, Lincolnshire, was jailed for five years, banned for five years and until he passes an extended driving test, and ordered to pay £130 court surcharge.

He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and falsely recording rest days.