Cumbria

HGV driver jailed for killing woman in head-on Carlisle crash

Jaroslaw Mieczan Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Mieczan was probably "distracted" seconds before the crash, the court heard

A speeding lorry driver who killed a great-grandmother in a head-on smash has been jailed.

Maureen Smith, 86, died when her Fiat Panda was hit by HGV driver Jaroslaw Mieczan near Carlisle on 16 November.

The 44-year-old Polish national, of Molodiatycze, Trzeszczany, had denied causing death by dangerous driving but was convicted at Carlisle Crown Court.

Mieczan, who was wearing flip flops at the time of the crash, wept as he was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

The court heard he was driving at 54mph (87kmh) - 4mph (7kmh) above the limit for lorries.

He swerved to avoid a Ford Fiesta in front of him on the A689, which had braked and indicated to make a right turn towards Irthington.

However, in doing so he "steered directly" into Mrs Smith's oncoming vehicle.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Maureen Smith's family said she was "much loved"

Mrs Smith, of Heads Nook, Brampton, in Cumbria, died at the scene from "multiple and catastrophic injuries".

Mieczan, said he tried to avoid a collision, but the driver of the Fiesta told the court Mieczan was travelling "too fast".

Prosecutor Kim Whittleston said great-grandmother Ms Smith's driving had been "impeccable" and "no blame" could be directed at her.

The hearing heard that Mieczan should have been able to see the Fiesta for more than nine seconds before the crash and was probably "distracted".

Jailing him Judge Barbara Forrester told him: "These cases are a tragedy for all involved in them."

He was also handed a four-year driving ban and must pass an extended re-test.

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