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Lorry driver, Joseph Smith, 30, of Church Street, Gillingham, jailed after killing pensioner in Cornwall

A lorry driver from Gillingham has been jailed after he killed a pensioner while tuning in his radio.

Joseph Smith, 30, had also been using his mobile phone to send and read text messages less than a minute before he ploughed into the back of queuing cars on the A30 in Bodmin, in May last year.

Smith, of Clarendon House, Church Street, smashed into the back of a car and then a van which then crashed into another vehicle and 79-year-old Jeanette Wattmore, in the first car was killed instantly.

Joseph Smith has been jailed.

Joseph Smith has been jailed.

Four other people were also injured during the smash, and Smith, pictured, had been at the wheel of a 40-ton Skania car transporter at the time.

He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at Truro Crown Court and has now been jailed for 32 months after an investigation by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Mrs Wattmore had been on holiday in St Ives with family at the time of the crash and had been on her way home to Bristol when it happened.

Smith has previously served his country in Iraq and Afghanistan before leaving the forces and working as a lorry driver for 18 months before the smash.

He is said to deeply remorseful about what happened and is of previous good character, but accepted he’d been using his mobile phone while driving.

Smith was using his phone to send and receive texts moments before the fatal crash

Smith was using his phone to send and receive texts moments before the fatal crash

Sgt Jane Corkhill from the roads policing team said: “A number of officers have worked on this case and it is through their efforts and determination that we have been able to bring about this successful outcome.

“This tragic case is sadly becoming more common, with increased opportunities to be distracted while driving.

“Motorists should take heed from this case, be responsible and put mobile devices where they can’t be reached while driving.

“The consequences can be devastating and the risk is simply not worth it.”

Not only was Smith sent to prison for 32 months, he was also banned from driving for five years which will begin when he has served his sentence.

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