Northern Ireland

Belfast lorry driver jailed after death crash in County Antrim

A Belfast lorry driver who admitted killing a teenage girl by dangerous driving has been jailed for 33 months.

Mark John Boyd, 33, pleaded guilty to causing the death of 18-year-old Erin Eagleson by driving dangerously.

Boyd, from St Aubyn Street, also pleaded guilty to a further charge of causing grievous bodily injury to Ms Eagleson's boyfriend Gary White also by dangerous driving.

The incident happened between Carrick and Ballynure on 5 July 2009.

Ms Eagleson was killed after the car Mr White was driving collided with Boyd's seven-tonne lorry which had veered onto the wrong side of the road.

Mr White told police Boyd had not been looking at the road but was looking down towards the floor of his vehicle. He said he flashed his lights and blared his horn but to no avail.

Mr White said he swerved to his right and felt a momentary sense of relief before there was a loud bang and the lorry hit the passenger's side of his car.

Boyd initially told police he could not remember anything about the collision but later claimed that Mr White had been on the wrong side of the road.

Boyd's lawyer said on Monday that had been a scandalous claim which caused Mr White even more anguish.

Judge Tom Burgess said Mr White was totally blameless and had to live under a cloud for 20 months until Boyd pleaded guilty to the charges.

Boyd's lawyer said his client had asked him to express his apologies and regret even though he knew it would be of little comfort to Ms Eagleson's family.

He said Boyd did not set out to cause injuries or death on the day of the tragedy but still could not explain what had happened.

Judge Burgess said he had been moved by the victim impact reports which Ms Eagleson's family had written to him.