A lorry driver who pled into stationary traffic on a motorway and killed three people some time ago was looking at dating sites on his phone, a court was told.
Ash cam footage shows Eoin Ont’s cab bursting into flames and detonating due to the initial crash after the carrier 100 meters ahead along the A1(M) in County Durham.
In the minutes before the smash, he was perusing sites like ‘Shag Today’ and ‘Mystic Match’ and updating his profile while at the wheel.
Ont was jailed for eight years and 10 months at Durham Crown Court after pleading guilty to three counts of death by dangerous driving.
Couple David Daglish and Elaine Sullivan of Seaham, County Durham, and Paul Mullen of Tyne and Wear, Washington, died immediately.
Onet was looking at Shag Today and Mystic Match sites, spending around £50 connecting with users, and looking at profiles and editing my own in the 40-minute period that led to Smash.
The court was told that his last phone conversation took place seconds before the collision and that he was “totally oblivious” to the vehicles ahead.
Onut (41) did not apply the brakes before turning into a traffic line at 58mph (93kmh).
They first struck the backs of Mr. Daglish (57) and Ms. Sullivan (59) of Vauxhall Crossland, then crushed 51-year-old Mullen’s Toyota Hilux under another lorry before continuing down the road, injuring three others. went.
Judge James Adkin, who banned Ont from driving for 10 years following his release, said: “You weren’t sleeping at the wheel, which would have been bad enough, you’d actually be on the Internet looking for casual sex partners. were walking.”
Ont, who was living with his family in Galashiels, Scotland, and working for a haulage firm, was heading north with a load of fertilizer when he met with an accident at around 6.15 pm on July 15, 2021. caused.
A previous incident had caused traffic build-up and warning signs alerted drivers of delays and told them to slow down, with other motorists observing a 50mph limit.
But Ont was seen weaving the lanes before the accident, which happened near Bobern Junction, and did not slow down.
Prosecutor Nick Dry said analysis of Ont’s phone showed he used it extensively while driving his lorry, and was browsing the Internet for 40 minutes before the collision.
Mr Dry said: “It was found that the telephone was in continuous use.
“History shows that the defendant was accessing two adult dating sites—one, Shag Today, and the other, called Mystic Match.
“He was driving so fast that he never went below 50mph.”
Mr Dry said: “He was thoroughly engrossed in Internet activity, in pursuit of sexual gratification for long periods of time, while in control of a large goods vehicle on a busy motorway.”
Junior Sullivan, a soldier who lost his mother and stepfather, told the court that he felt “Unbearable anger at seeing other drivers using their mobile phones”.
Mr. Mullen, a hardworking family man, was a loving father to his three children and was about to become a grandfather, his daughter Orlai told the court.
Lauren Cotton survived, but was left with chronic leg pain and said her life was ruined, while Molly Smith said the bump left her feeling stressed, angry and guilty during the final weeks of her pregnancy.
Lorry driver Michael Hosty ran to help Onut out of his burning cab and recalled holding him and saying: “Look, dude, we’re both going to die if you don’t help me.”
Mr Hosty now has post-traumatic stress disorder, but he said his suffering is not comparable to that of the families of the victims.
Defending, Richard Bloomfield said that Ont felt remorse and apologized to the defendant for the “catastrophe”.
Sergeant Katherine Illy said after the case: “It was incredibly upsetting and upsetting for those who witnessed the collision and for emergency responders, including police officers, firefighters and paramedics, who arrived at the scene.
“The horrors of what they saw that day will undoubtedly stay with them for many years to come.”