Lorry driver jailed in death crash case

A LORRY driver who killed an eight-year-old boy when he ploughed into a family car has been jailed for 30 months.

Laurence Cawley

A LORRY driver who killed an eight-year-old boy when he lost concentration and ploughed into the back of slowing traffic has been jailed for 30 months.

Michael Coombes, 62, of St Mary's in Stowmarket, had not driven since the crash on the A14 near Cambridge in May 2007, had resigned his job and suffered depression, Cambridge Crown Court was told today.

His Mercedes HGV was travelling at 56 mph when it hit the Mitsubishi 4x4 carrying William Elbrow and his family, prosecutors said.

Relatives of the Elbrows, who have two other children and live in Thrapston, in Northantonshire, said the sentence should have been harsher and Coombes should had admitted his guilt.

Coombes, who had an “impeccable” motoring record and had been a lorry driver for 40 years, was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving in September following a trial last month.

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“You simply failed to notice traffic slowing and bunching ahead of you,” said Judge Anthony Bate, who also banned Coombes from driving for three years.

“The cause of this tragic accident was prolonged inattention for which you were unable to account for.'”

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