Lorry driver guilty over A66 soldiers' deaths

David Gartland and Jim Austin
Image caption David Gartland and Jim Austin were returning to Catterick Garrison

A lorry driver has been found guilty of causing the death by careless driving of two soldiers on the A66 in Cumbria.

Jim Austin and David Gartland were in an Army ambulance which struck a broken-down vehicle and was then hit by the lorry driven by Colin Pattison.

The 53-year-old from East Yorkshire faced two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, but was only found guilty of the less serious charges.

He was bailed to return to Carlisle Crown Court for sentencing in October.

Belching out smoke

Pte Austin, 24, from Catterick, North Yorkshire, and L/Sgt Gartland, 40, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, were returning to Catterick Garrison at the time of the crash in September 2011.

Both died at the scene near North Stainmore.

The trial heard how Pattison, of Newclose Lane, Goole, drove through what he thought was smoke from a field fire and would soon clear.

Moments later he hit the Army vehicle which had already crashed into a broken down truck that was belching out the smoke.

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