David Taylor spared jail over Michelle Jurd lorry death

Michelle Jurd
Image caption Mrs Jurd was a veteran of conflicts in Iraq and Kosovo

A Cumbrian lorry driver who caused the death of a former RAF officer has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Michelle Jurd, 41, was driving her two daughters on the A590 near Kendal in November 2009 when she was in collision with a lorry driven by David Taylor.

Taylor, of Foulshaw Lane, Levens, admitted causing death by careless driving and was jailed for 20 weeks, suspended for a year.

The 55-year-old was also ordered to do 200 hours of community service.

Taylor had originally been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, but he denied the charge and the plea was accepted by the prosecution.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how Mrs Jurd died after her Citroen was involved in a collision with Taylor's articulated lorry at Gilpin Bridge, Levens, on 4 November 2009.

The 63ft (19m) lorry was carrying a 30-tonne fairground ride, the court heard.

Mrs Jurd's two young daughters were not seriously injured.

During her career in the RAF, she was the first female officer to qualify as a navigator on Puma aircraft and rose to the rank of squadron leader.

In Iraq, Mrs Jurd, of Eden Mount Road, Grange-over-Sands, led an operation into enemy territory during a sandstorm to rescue stranded soldiers.

She also served in Kosovo and Northern Ireland.

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