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Crash victim family's 'nightmare' because lorry driver used phone

PUBLISHED: 10:37 15 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:37 15 October 2019

Mandy Snowling with her husband Shane  Picture: SHANE SNOWLING

Mandy Snowling with her husband Shane Picture: SHANE SNOWLING

Shane Snowling

The bereaved husband of a woman killed by a dangerous driver, who was distracted by his mobile phone, has spoken about the 'nightmare' of his loss.

Mandy Snowling, who died in an accident on the A12  Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE FAMILYMandy Snowling, who died in an accident on the A12 Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE FAMILY

Shane Snowling said his family were angered by the sentence handed down to Raymond Hogg last week for causing the death of his 43-year-old wife, Amanda, on the A12 at Washbrook last April.

But no term could compensate for the void left by the 69-year-old trucker's actions, added Mr Snowling, who last week saw Hogg sentenced to 52 months' jail and a five-year driving ban.

In a joint statement, he and his family thanked the police for their hard work in getting the case to court, adding: "There is no prison sentence that will ever bring Mandy back to us.

"Yes, everyone is angry over the time [Hogg] has been given, but there is no time worth a life taken for this guy to just make a call.

Mandy Snowling with her step-son, Cory  Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYMandy Snowling with her step-son, Cory Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

"What he's done has broken my family. We will never be the same again; all because of a mobile phone."

Hogg's lorry was travelling at about 50mph when it collided with queuing traffic on the approach to the Copdock junction.

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Dash-cam footage showed traffic visible for 14 seconds from the cab of Hogg's Volvo truck before it collided with the back of Mrs Snowling's red Mazda 6 - setting off a chain of collisions involving three other cars and another lorry.

Investigators later found Hogg's phone was in almost continuous use for more than 20 minutes prior to the collision.

An outgoing call was made seconds before impact - requiring the number to be manually selected or dialled.

In sentencing Hogg, of Bridge Street, Needham Market, Judge Martyn Levett said he was bound by guidelines and could do little to outweigh the harm he caused.

"No sentence can compensate for Amanda's loss," he concluded.

Mr Snowling said: "I wake each day to an empty space where my wife should be.

"My bedroom is the same as the last time she was here with me. I open her side of the wardrobe to see and smell her clothes and remember the times we had together. I stand and look out of my window, wishing for her to pull up, and for this to be just a nightmare, but I look around to see her ashes sitting there, then a bomb goes off and I panic because I know it's real.

"It is not him that's been given a sentence; it's us. We have this nightmare for the rest our lives."

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