Lancashire

Lorry driver used phone apps before M58 fatal crash

Joe Cairns Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Joe Cairns, 14, and 50-year-old Anne Kerr died when the HGV crashed into their school minibus

A lorry driver killed two people as he played a medieval fantasy game while at the wheel, a court has heard.

James Majury, 33, used phone apps including Hustle Castle and Sky Sports when he crashed on the M58 in Lancashire, in January 2019.

Joe Cairns, 14, of Radcliffe, Greater Manchester and Anne Kerr, 50, of Southport, Merseyside died.

Majury pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving at Preston Crown Court.

He also admitted five counts of causing serious injury in the 8 January multi-vehicle collision at Bickerstaffe.

Image copyright Peter Byrne
Image caption The crash happened between junctions 3 and 4 of the M58 in Lancashire

The vehicle in which the two people died, was a minibus carrying pupils and staff from Pontville School - a special educational needs school in Ormskirk.

Judge Robert Altham remanded Majury in custody and warned him he faced a lengthy jail term when he is sentenced on 31 March.

The court heard Majury, of Milton Road, Coppull, Chorley, used apps including Facebook from the moment he set off on his journey to about 45 minutes later when he crashed.

Majury also sent messages during his morning journey.

Image copyright SpottedVOSA and Fuzzy
Image caption Prosecuting Francis McEntee said Majury was "voluntarily distracted"

Prosecuting Francis McEntee said Majury was "voluntarily distracted" and that he reacted "no more than half a second" before the crash impact.

Defending James Ageros QC said: "He would like to express his profound remorse and regret for his actions and for their tragic loss."

Relatives of both victims watched from a packed public gallery as Majury admitted the charges.

Joe's parents, Steph and Andy Cairns, paid tribute to their "brave boy" and "true fighter with a heart of gold" following his death.

They also said he was a "true superhero" with "an amazing sense of humour and infectious smile".

Mrs Kerr was married with two sons and her family said she was "much loved by all who knew her" and her death had left them "heartbroken".

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