A lorry driver whose dangerous driving caused the deaths of four family members has today (31 October) been jailed for 10 years at Reading Crown Court.
Tomasz Kroker was driving on the northbound carriageway of the A34 in Berkshire on 10 August this year when he drove into the back of the stationary queue of vehicles at approximately 50mph. Tracey Houghton, aged 45, from Bedfordshire, her two sons, Josh Houghton (11) and Ethan Houghton (13), and her partner’s daughter Aimee Goldsmith (11), who were all travelling in the same vehicle, died at the scene. A further five people were injured including one man who was airlifted to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Kroker initially claimed at the scene that his brakes had failed. But when confronted with dash-cam footage he admitted he had been looking at his mobile phone at the time of the crash. On 10 October he pleaded guilty to four counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Gavin Hernandez, District Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said:
“This was not a tragic accident but four deaths were caused by Kroker’s inattention and distraction.
“This case highlights the serious consequences of failing to be alert and prepared for unexpected driving conditions. Mobile phones must not be used by drivers under any circumstances as they are a lethal distraction which, as this case demonstrates, can lead to untold misery.
“Our thoughts are very much with the families affected by this tragic incident.”