Lorry driver jailed for M26 family crash deaths

Juraj Orsula Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Juraj Orsula told police he had been blinded by the sun, but had failed to slow down

A lorry driver who caused the deaths of a man and his two daughters on the M26 in Kent has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.

Juraj Orsula, 45, from Slovakia, left three other people with serious injuries, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

Michael Akande, 54, of Sarcelles in Paris, died days after last April's crash. His daughters, Helen, 22, and Mary, 16, died at the scene.

Orsula smashed into their car, which had come to a stop on the motorway.

'Trail of devastation'

The crash involving two lorries, a van, a Nissan car and a Mini happened on the London-bound carriageway of the M26, near Kemsing, on 15 April 2014.

Those who survived the smash but were left badly injured were a seven-year-old boy who sustained a severe brain injury, a three-year-old boy who suffered a broken leg and a 36-year-old man who suffered a fractured skull and brain injury.

Image copyright Empics
Image caption The M26 was closed in both directions for several hours following the crash on 16 April 2014

Det Con David Holmes said: "Juraj Orsula claims he was blinded by the sun in the moments leading up to the collision, which should have been reason enough to reduce his speed.

'Instead he continued to drive as normal before crashing into stationary traffic and leaving a trail of devastation around him.

"The events of that day will linger long in the memory of those affected, some of whom will never fully recover from their injuries."

Orsula, who pleaded guilty to causing three deaths by dangerous driving and three counts of causing injury by dangerous driving, was disqualified from driving for seven years.

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