Cumbria

HGV driver guilty of causing fatal Carlisle head-on crash

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

A speeding lorry driver has been found guilty of causing a head-on smash which killed a great-grandmother.

Maureen Smith, 86, of Brampton, Cumbria, died when her Fiat Panda was hit by an HGV driven by Jaroslaw Mieczan near Carlisle on 16 November.

The 44-year-old Polish national had denied causing death by dangerous driving but was convicted unanimously by a jury at Carlisle Crown Court.

Mieczan was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Friday.

The court heard Mieczan, who was wearing flip-flops at the time of the crash, had been 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 at about 15:10 GMT.

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

Mieczan, of Molodiatycze, Trzeszczany, 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.

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