A lorry driver who crashed into the rear of a broken-down car on the M40 has been jailed for causing death by dangerous driving.
Jose De Sousa, of Feltham, Middlesex, was said to have “completely obliterated” the back of the vehicle in the crash, which killed Ausra Budreckaite on March 28 last year.
The 50-year-old had been on trial at Oxford Crown Court but earlier this week changed his plea and admitted the charge relating to the crash, which happened at 2.30am on the M40’s southbound carriageway between junctions nine at Bicester and 8a at Wheatley.
Sentencing De Sousa to four-and-a-half years in prison, as well as banning him from driving for 10 years, judge Peter Ross said De Sousa had been travelling at about 55mph, which would have given him 12 seconds to see the broken-down car and hit the brakes.
The Peugeot 406, which had suffered engine failure due to an oil leak, had its headlights, tail lights and hazard warning lights on at the time of the incident, prosecutor Damian van Duyvenbode said expert evidence had shown.
“Pattern of behaviour”
The vehicle, which was being driven by Miss Budreckaite’s partner Tomas Priluckis, was “completely obliterated by the impact”, the judge added.
He said that Mr Priluckis’s witness statement of the events was “simply too terrible to repeat”.
Referring to a “pattern of behaviour”, the judge added that the incident was similar to another accident the lorry driver had been involved in during 2008, when his vehicle left the road and he told police officers he had felt “a bit sleepy”.
De Sousa was found to have removed his tachograph card, which records information about driving time, speed and distance, on both occasions, and also pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice during this case.
Bad road traffic accidents
Sadly, road traffic accidents are a common occurrence and can lead to minor injuries or more serious complaints. Accident Advice Helpline can help explain how the claims process works if you decide to pursue a case.
If you’ve suffered physically, financially or emotionally, our lawyers – working on a no-win, no-fee* basis – may be able to help. Call 0800 689 0500 for more information.
Date Published: October 24, 2014
Author: David Brown