A lorry driver has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison following a fatal collision on the M25.
David Kerry, 43, of, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday 1 November 2013.
On Wednesday 13 February 2013, at about 10.15am, Kent Police was called to a report that a lorry and three cars had collided on the clockwise carriageway of the M25 between junction 4 and junction 5.
One of the cars involved in the collision was a Ford C-Max. It was being driven by David Grossmith, from Canvey Island, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
The court heard how Kerry had travelled across the Dartford River Crossing and continued his journey Surrey-bound in lane 1 of the M25. Not sure whether to take the A21 or the M25 where the road splits, Kerry looked at his Sat Nav and tried to adjust the view.
As he looked up he noticed the traffic had stopped in his lane and motorists in the other two lanes were stopping. Kerry detailed to the court how he started to brake and tried to avoid his lorry from swerving. He pulled to the hard shoulder as he knew he was not going to stop in the distance he had.
Kerry’s lorry collided into the back of the Ford C-Max, which subsequently collided with a Peugeot 407, which in turn hit a Volkswagen Golf.
Kerry was sentenced at crown court the same day to four years and six months in prison and disqualified from driving for six years, with a requirement to take an extended re-test.
DC David Holmes, of the Kent Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: ‘We believe Kerry had been distracted by using his hands free mobile phone. He then took his eyes off the road to look at his Sat Nav and during this time the traffic in front of him had come to a stop. He had a clear view of the road ahead, providing him with a minimum of 19 seconds to react to the slower moving and stationary traffic in lane one.
‘This fatal collision was caused as a result of Kerry getting distracted at the wheel.
‘I would encourage all motorists to be prepared for their journey and know their route before travelling. If you are not sure where you are going, find a safe place to pull over to check. I would also stress that using a mobile phone while driving, even in hands free mode, can cause a distraction.’