Radcliffe schoolboy was killed by truck driver using his mobile phone while driving

A distracted HGV driver who was texting and playing a game at the wheel killed a Radcliffe schoolboy, a court has heard. James Majury, 33, was said to have used apps including the medieval fantasy game Hustle Castle in the lead-up to the crash involving multiple vehicles in January 2019, Lancs Live reports. One of the vehicles struck in the smash on the M58 near Bickerstaffe in Lancashire was a minibus carrying pupils and staff from Pontville School, a special educational needs school in Ormskirk.

Pupil Joe Cairns, 14, and staff member Anne Kerr, 50, from Southport, died from their injuries. Relatives of both victims attended Preston Crown Court on Tuesday and from a packed public gallery watched Majury enter guilty pleas to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and five counts of causing serious injury.

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Francis McEntee, prosecuting, said the Crown's case was Majury was 'voluntarily distracted' for a period of about 45 minutes up to and including the collision in which he reacted 'no more than half a second' before impact. Among the other apps the defendant had been using were Sky Sports and Facebook, while messages were also exchanged during the journey.

The scene of the multi-vehicle crash on the M58 in Lancashire

Mr McEntee added that Majury had shown a 'flagrant disregard' for the safety of other road users.

Majury's defence barrister James Ageros QC said: "[Majury] would like, through me, to express his profound remorse and regret for his actions and for their tragic loss. "I accept the final disposal is inevitable and he will receive a custodial sentence. He will be going to prison for a considerable period of time.

Radcliffe schoolboy was killed by truck driver using his mobile phone while drivingAnne Kerr, 50, from Southport, was a teacher at Pontville School in Ormskirk

"The events have had a severe psychological impact on Mr Majury.

He has a partner and daughter and the long period of incarceration will have a big impact." Majury, from Chorley, was remanded in custody by Judge Robert Altham and told to expect a lengthy jail sentence on March 31. Joe's heartbroken parents paid tribute to him following his death, describing him as a 'true superhero'.

In a statement issued via Lancashire Police, Joe's mum and dad Steph and Andy Cairns said their son had an 'infectious smile'. It read: "Joe, my brave boy, a true fighter with a heart of gold. "An amazing sense of humour and infectious smile, a true superhero."

Emergency services including police, fire and air ambulances were first called to the incident at 8.45am on January 8, 2019 and the motorway was closed for around eight hours as recoveries and investigations were carried out.

Five other people were left 'seriously injured' in the crash.

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