Hereford & Worcester

Lorry driver Graham Morgan jailed for Hereford timber deaths

Terri-Ann Barnett and Thomas Matts with their son Morgan
Image caption The couple had just taken their son to nursery

A lorry driver has been jailed for 12 months after admitting causing the deaths of a couple when his vehicle shed its load of timber.

Tom Matts and Terri-Ann Barnett had just dropped their baby son off at nursery when the lorry hit a bridge in Belmont Road, Hereford, on 7 February.

Graham Morgan, 49, had already admitted two counts of causing death by careless driving.

Morgan, of Monnow Crescent, Hereford, must serve a minimum of six months.

He was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on Friday.

Insp Jim McLaughlin, from West Mercia Police, said: "This terrible incident has had a significant impact on many people: the families of Terri-Ann Barnett and Thomas Matts, as well Mr Morgan's family and the wider community in Hereford.

"A simple error can lead to devastating, life-long consequences and this is something we should always remember whatever vehicle we are driving.

"Our thoughts are with the families of Terri-Ann and Thomas at this difficult time."

'Practical support'

The couple, who lived together with their baby son Morgan, were both seriously hurt when the load fell on to them.

Mr Matts, 29, died at the scene and Ms Barnett, 24, died in hospital later on in the evening.

Both had been walking along the road when the accident happened.

Mr Matts was one of six brothers while Ms Barnett left her parents Ralph and Diane, two brothers and a sister.

At a service for them in February, Ms Barnett's family described her as an outstanding mother.

The Reverend John Lewis, from Gorsley Baptist Church, said after the incident that people living in Hereford had been offering "practical and loving" support to Morgan.

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