Lorry driver faces jail after being distracted by mobile phone before fatal crash

The A134 Long Melford bypass where the fatal crash happened Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The A134 Long Melford bypass where the fatal crash happened Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

A lorry driver who was distracted by his mobile phone when he was involved in a fatal collision with a 65-year-old cyclist on a Suffolk road has been warned he is facing a lengthy jail term when he is sentenced next month.

Thirty-year-old Caraza Dan-Constantin was using Facebook Messenger immediately before his Volvo lorry hit Brian Riley on the A134 Long Melford bypass, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Dan-Constantin, of Bridge Avenue, Upminster, admitted causing Mr Riley's death by dangerous driving on October 19 2018.

He denied a further charge of committing an act with intent to pervert the course of public justice by concealing a mobile phone in his lorry on the same date.

Godfried Duah, prosecuting, said the pleas were acceptable and he wasn't seeking a trial on the perverting the course of justice charge.

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Judge Martyn Levett adjourned sentence until March 23 and told Dan-Constantin: "You will be facing a lengthy prison sentence in view of the seriousness of the offence.

"You were driving a heavy lorry carrying cement at the time. I have watched CCTV dash cam footage which shows the collision and the devastating effect of hitting another person on the road," said the judge.

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He remanded Dan-Constantin in custody until the sentencing hearing.

He said he didn't require a pre-sentence report.

Mr Riley, 65, from the Sudbury area, was killed following a collision with a Volvo lorry at about 10.10am on Friday, October 19, 2018.

The crash happened between the roundabout junction with the B1064/A131 and Mills Lane.

A stretch of the A134 was closed by police for nearly seven hours while an investigation took place.

Godfried Duah, prosecuting, said Mr Riley, had no children and was estranged from his family.

Alexander Stein for Dan-Constantin said his client was a professional lorry driver and had no previous convictions in the UK or Romania.

He said it was accepted that Dan-Constantin had been distracted by Facebook messenger immediately before the collision.

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