M62 crash deaths caused by lorry driver as he read text

image captionLorry driver Ethen Roberts was jailed for five years and three months after admitting causing the deaths

A man who killed a couple when his lorry toppled on to their car as he read a text message has been jailed for five years and three months.

Ethen Roberts' vehicle crushed Mark and Tamsie McHale's Audi on the M62 in West Yorkshire, on 25 July 2012.

He had received a message just before hitting the car, causing his lorry to topple over, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Roberts, 44, of Ings Lane, Immingham, North East Lincolnshire, admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

When investigators analysed Roberts' phone they found he had received a message from a friend one minute and 16 seconds before his lorry veered into the couple's car.

'Superb teacher'

They later found he had sent and received almost 100 messages to and from the same friend in the three days leading up to the smash - all when the lorry's tachograph showed the vehicle was being driven.

Mr McHale, 46, and his 43-year-old wife, from Bishop Auckland, County Durham, had been travelling west on the M62, between junction 26 for Chain Bar and junction 25 at Brighouse, before the crash.

Hair and beauty salon owner Mr McHale and his wife, a deputy head teacher at Gilesgate Primary School, in County Durham, died at the scene.

Colleagues of Mrs McHale described her as having been an "absolutely fantastic person" and a "superb teacher".

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