Dorset

'Barbie app' A350 crash death woman sentenced

A woman who killed a man in a head-on crash after being distracted by a mobile phone has been sentenced.

Joseph Willis, 86, died in hospital after the three-car collision on the A350 in Blandford, Dorset, in November.

Bekki Mills, who previously pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, had been distracted by a Barbie app on a mobile phone at the time of the crash, police said.

She was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Mills, 25, of Sandy Lane, Verwood, was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and disqualified from driving for two years at the sentencing at Bournemouth Crown Court.

'Completely avoidable'

On 9 November last year, she crossed the carriageway in her red Audi A4 and clipped a Ford Galaxy coming the other way, before colliding head-on with a Peugeot 3008 - in which Mr Willis, from Shillingstone, was a passenger, police said.

At the scene, two police officers overheard Mills say: "I was looking at my daughter's phone when I went to overtake."

A 64-year-old woman who was driving the Peugeot suffered a punctured lung, broken rib and bruising, and a 41-year-old man who was driving the Ford sustained bruising.

Mills had an open fracture to her lower left leg, lacerations to her right leg and broken ribs. Her two children, who were passengers in the Audi, were uninjured.

Sgt Mark Farrow described it as a "completely avoidable collision" and said Mills' actions "fell below the standard expected of any driver".

"Distraction or any use of a mobile phone while driving, even for a split second, can have devastating consequences and Mills will have to live with the knowledge that her actions resulted in an elderly man's death," he added.

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