Essex

Lorry driver on phone jailed over Paul Garner death

Paul Garner Image copyright Garner family
Image caption Paul Garner was riding on the A282 - a trunk road of the M25 at West Thurrock - when he was struck by Caltun's lorry

A lorry driver who was on a seven-minute call when she killed a motorcyclist has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Father-of-two Paul Garner, 53, of Maidstone in Kent, died when he was struck by Stana Caltun's lorry on the A282 at West Thurrock in September.

Caltun, 35, from Romania, admitted causing death by dangerous driving at Basildon Crown Court.

Essex Police said it believed the hand-held call caused her to drift lanes.

She had made other phone calls while driving and during the seven-minute call had veered into lane one, hitting Mr Garner.

The A282 is a trunk road of the M25 as it passes through Dartford in Kent, the QEII bridge and West Thurrock.

After killing Mr Garner, Caltun deleted data from the phone in an attempt to hide evidence of her calls and was also using a device in her cab which interfered with the records of her driving activities, police said.

Det Insp Scott Egerton said after the hearing: "The use of a mobile phone whilst driving an articulated goods vehicle was utterly irresponsible and dangerous.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Stana Cultun was also banned from driving for six years

"As a result of this, Mr Garner's family have been left devastated.

"This case must serve as a warning to any driver who uses their mobile phone of the risk they take, the consequences they face and the hurt they can cause."

Speaking after his death, Mr Garner's family described him as a loving husband and father and a life-long car and motorcycle enthusiast.

"He was a keen reader, excellent in the kitchen and with a wicked sense of humour," their statement said.

"Paul lived and worked in the Kent area all of his life."

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