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16 May 2016, 11:59
A lorry driver who smashed into a car on the A23 because he was looking at his mobile has been jailed for 15 months
A stark warning to motorists not to be distracted by mobile phones or similar devices came after Brighton Crown Court jailed a man on Wednesday (11 May) for causing a catastrophic crash on the A23 at Bolney.
On 16 September last year Mark Martin, 39, of Wrentham Avenue, Herne Bay, Kent, was at the wheel of a Volvo car transporter travelling north when it smashed into a stationary Fiat Punto, just north of the A272 slip road.
The Fiat's driver, a 36-year-old man from London, sustained life-changing injuries.
Martin, of previous good character, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment. He was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay costs.
He admitted the offence at the earliest opportunity and when interviewed by police confessed that he had been looking at his e-POD mobile device, displaying the next day's deliveries, rather than at the road ahead.
Consequently he only saw the Fiat stopped in lane one at the last moment and was unable to take any avoiding action.
His vehicle caused substantial damage to the Fiat, including massive intrusion into the interior, and as a result the driver was grievously injured.
PC Christina Lane, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Sussex Police, attended the crash and saw the outcome first-hand.
Following Martin's sentence, she said: "It's important that we raise people's awareness of the danger that mobile devices can cause.
"In an increasingly busy world, with easy access to communications via mobiles, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves - is looking at this device really so important? Can it wait 20 minutes?
This change in attitude might just save your life or someone else's."