Lorry driver lost concentration for 'a millisecond' before death crash
PUBLISHED: 15:51 27 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:58 28 January 2020
A lorry driver admitted losing concentration "for a millisecond" before the fatal crash that killed his passenger on the A47.
Mark Rodwell died on February 1, 2018, when the lorry he was in crashed into the back of another LGV parked in a lay-by at Scarning, near Dereham.
The 47-year-old, from Doncaster, worked as a driver's mate and was travelling towards Norwich with the lorry's driver, Clive Storrs.
Mr Storrs later admitted causing death by careless driving and was given 12 months in prison, suspended for two years.
And, at an inquest into Mr Rodwell's death at Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich on Monday (January 27), details of Mr Storrs' police interview in which he confessed to losing concentration at the wheel were revealed.
In the interview, given at King's Lynn Police Investigation Centre four months after the collision, Mr Storrs recalled "laughing and joking" with Mr Rodwell "like you do when you are in a vehicle".
The 65-year-old - also from Doncaster - said to officers that visibility had been good, he was familiar with the road and he felt "fit and well" at the time.
But Mr Storrs admitted a "millisecond lapse of concentration" just prior to the collision and, when asked who was to blame for Mr Rodwell's death, he told police "there is only one person it can be and that is me".
In a statement given days after the crash, the driver of the stationary lorry, Kamil Lewicki, told of pulling over at Scarning for a break.
While on the phone to his girlfriend, Mr Lewicki noticed a lorry in his rear view mirror that was 600-700m away and "being driven as normal".
But, as the lorry grew closer, he "feared it would almost certainly hit me", before a "large impact" that threw him out of the driver's seat and into the passenger seat.
Mr Lewicki, who sustained minor leg injuries, said: "I asked a nurse if there was something I could help with. She said 'it's too late - this person is dead'."
He added: "I would like to point out that I was as far from the main road as I could be, to the extent that the wheels on the passenger side were on the grass verge."
Senior coroner Jacqueline Lake concluded Mr Rodwell died as a result of multiple injuries due to a road traffic collision.