Monday 20 November 2017

Truck driver jailed for five years after killing 52-year-old and causing six-vehicle crash - while on his mobile phone

Dorel Galan Credit: Nottinghamshire Police/PA Wire
Dorel Galan Credit: Nottinghamshire Police/PA Wire

Josh Payne

A Romanian lorry driver has been jailed for five years and three months after killing a 52-year-old and causing a six-vehicle crash - while on his mobile phone.

Dorel Galan admitted causing the death of council worker Ian Newell by driving his Man TGX lorry dangerously at 55mph on March 9.

The court heard Galan had 23 seconds to slow down as he approached a tailback on the northbound A1 near Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Galan also made a video call while driving minutes before the crash.

Mr Newell, of Grantham, Lincolnshire, was crushed by the body of another lorry, smashed into by Galan, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

CCTV and dashcam footage at the moment of impact was played in court by prosecutor Mary Loram - shrowing a huge cloud of powder as Galan tried to sharply apply the brakes.

The trucker, of London Road, Grays, Essex, also admitted two counts of using a false instrument after tampering with an hour-tracking device.

He was also disqualified from driving for six years and eight months.

Speaking about Mr Newell, Judge Timothy Spencer QC said: "He was a fine man, he was a positive contributor to society, he was at the centre of a loving family and he was an excellent, husband, father, son and brother."

Sentencing Galan at Nottingham Crown Court, Judge Spencer told him: "As I understand the evidence in this case, the complete weight (of the lorry) was something over 32 tonnes.

"It is a very, very dangerous weapon.

"You must have been able to see ahead had you been paying proper attention - the only explanation can be that you were not paying attention to the road ahead."

In a victim impact statement summarised by Ms Loram, Mr Newell's wife said her daughters "struggled to focus in the shadow of their father's death".

Following proceedings through a Romanian interpreter, Galan tried to hold back tears as he was sentenced.

Harry Bowyer, defending, said: "The personal mitigation is his guilty plea this morning - he has expressed genuine remorse."

The family of Mr Newell took the decision not to attend court on Thursday.

Press Association

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