North Wales police has released shocking footage of a crash that resulted in the death of a motorist.
The video shows a truck driving along a road at 56 to 57mph. The driver is said to have ignored two signs that warned of roadworks ahead and continued at the same speed into slow-moving traffic.
At this point, the video ends but the damage is done. 36-year-old lorry driver Nicholas Clough ploughs into a motorist, killing one and severely injuring another on the A55 at St George near Abergele on the north coast of Wales.
Clough slammed on the brakes just two seconds before the fatal impact, according to reports, which ended the life of 37-year-old Darren Longden from Rawden in Leeds who was a passenger at the time.
The lorry driver was found to have been distracted before the incident, which took place on the 10th of March, 2015. He had been using his mobile to communicate an address to a colleague and had taken his eyes off the road to “fiddle about” with his sat-nav.
Clough pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving was jailed for three and a half years, banned from driving for two and a half years and has been ordered to retake his driving test in addition to paying a victim surcharge of £170.
Mr Recorder Peter Griffiths QC said while passing sentence: “Your fatal error was to fiddle with your sat nav to assist a colleague. You had indicated that you would call him back if and when you found out the address for him. You missed the warning of road works ahead of you.”
After the verdict, PC Arywn Phillips of the North Wales Police Roads Policing Unit added: “Mr Clough’s dangerous driving has cost the life of another man and devastated a family in the space of a few seconds.
“Mr Clough had used his mobile phone and satellite navigation which took his attention away from the road. All of this could have been avoided if he had paid attention to the warning signs which were in place to highlight the oncoming roadworks.
“Mr Longden’s family have been left without a husband and son, and the family of the driver from the Ford Transit have had to pick up the pieces and cope with his serious injuries. The family of Mr Clough have also had their lives changed forever by what happened on that day.”
Clough’s defendant, barrister Peter Horgan, described him as a, “hard-working, decent, caring and sensitive man” who was “genuinely wracked with remorse”.
Mr Longen’s widow, Lois Longden, said they had been planning to start a family: “I just want to know that the person who took him away, not only from me but everyone who loved him, knows what they’ve done and how much they have taken away from us.
“Life will never be the same for me, his son Daniel, nor any of the other family members and friends. Driving safely is enough of a challenge as it is. Any vehicle can be a lethal weapon. Trying to multi-task like Mr Clough was doing that morning has turned my world upside down. The footage clearly shows that he was not concentrating at all on the road ahead.
“To anyone reading this, please take a moment to think how easy it is to kill an innocent person with your actions behind the wheel of a vehicle. Is taking that telephone call or changing things on our sat nav that important?”
North Wales Police decided to release the footage as a warning to other drivers who think it is okay to perform other tasks while driving. The harrowing footage awaits.
Update: The original video has since been removed and we were unable to find another source. Apologies, folks.