Man died after lorry crashed into litter picking vans on A11
- Credit: Archant
The passenger in a truck died after the driver failed to see two litter picking vans parked at the side of the A11, a court heard.
Darren Marks, 42, had been driving an 18-tonne Renault truck on the A11 near Attleborough.
Marks and his passenger Tony Skerratt worked for Wren Kitchens and had been heading towards Thetford when they collided with two stationary litter picking vans.
Norwich Crown Court heard Mr Skerratt suffered "catastrophic injuries to his chest" and died following the crash at about 12.45pm on February 26, 2019.
Peter Glenser QC, prosecuting, said about 20pc of the vehicles were over the white lines on the carriageway.
He said the driving of Marks, who had been adjusting the cruise control prior to the crash, “fell far below the competent motorist”.
The defendant was arrested and told police he had not seen any signage warning of he hazard ahead.
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A victim impact statement read by Mr Skerratt’s sister on behalf of the family said “everything changed” on the day her brother died.
Speaking to Marks she said “our family is broken through your actions” adding that whatever sentence he received “would not be enough for Tony - we know it will never bring him back”.
Marks, from Harlow, appeared at court in September last year having previously admitted causing death by careless driving.
Sentencing him to four months imprisonment, suspended for 21 months, Judge Katharine Moore said the victim was a “much loved and much missed” man.
Judge Moore said Marks had “failed to react in time” to the danger ahead but accepted that he had been profoundly affected by his friend’s death and that his remorse was genuine.
Marks was also ordered to do 180 hours unpaid work, 15 rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) days and was disqualified from driving for 30 months.
Tyrone Smith, mitigating, said it had been a “relatively brief time of inattention” and the “last thing he would’ve wanted that day was for anything to happen”.
The case can only now be reported following an order by the judge banning publication until after the trial of litter pickers Neville Everett, 44, and Piotr Szambelan, 45.
Last week Everett, of Sandy Lane, Dereham and Szambelan, of Goddards Court, Watton were both found not guilty of all charges they faced in relation to the crash.