VIDEO: Aftermath of scene caused by lorry driver who has been jailed for six years following woman's death in A47 crash
PUBLISHED: 14:37 06 September 2011 | UPDATED: 14:23 07 September 2011
Archant 2011 0
A 34 year old man who killed one person after colliding with six cars on the A47 last summer today starts a six year sentence.
Mother-of-three Elizabeth Bird, 52, of Leighton Buzzard, was killed in the crash on the A47, just after the junction with the A146 slip road at Trowse, which involved eight vehicles.
Simon Bothamley, 34, of Ramsey, in Cambridgeshire, was driving the lorry eastbound on the A47 when he collided with the Ford Mondeo Mrs Bird was a passenger in, before hitting several other vehicles on July 10 last year.
Bothamley, who had pleaded not guilty to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving, said he was distracted by a bee or wasp which flew into his cabin and then by a sneezing fit.
A jury at Norwich Crown Court last month took less than an hour to find Bothamley guilty of the charge.
Bothamley, who was sentenced today at Norwich Crown Court, was also disqualified from driving for five years and will have to take an extended test to regain his licence.
Helicopter footage of the aftermath of the horrifying crash has also been released by officers from the Serious Collision Investigation Team in the hope of preventing other families from suffering the tragic consequences of drivers failing to concentrate on the road ahead.
Steve Matthews, Head of the Serious Collision Investigation Team, which led the enquiry into Mrs Bird’s death, commented on the sentence saying: “Any lapse in concentration whilst driving can have horrifying consequences.
“Today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of such events and demonstrates that both Norfolk Constabulary and the Courts will not tolerate such lapses in driving behaviour.
“I hope the footage we have released will help other drivers to consider their actions more thoroughly whilst travelling on Norfolk’s roads.”
PC Chris Tremlin, Wymondham Roads Policing, who attended the scene moments after the collision and was also the Family Liaison Officer for the Bird family, described the scene as ‘utter carnage and devastation - it was like the scene out of a film’.
He added, “I have attended numerous serious and fatal road collisions over the years and without a doubt this was one of the most horrendous scenes my colleagues and I have witnessed. I find it remarkable that only one person has died.”