Lorry driver who killed three in  crash had been browsing dating sites at 58mph


A lorry driver who was browsing dating sites at the wheel has been jailed after he ploughed into stationary traffic on a motorway and killed three people.

David Daglish and Elaine Sullivan, a couple from Seaham, County Durham, and Paul Mullen from Washington, Tyne and Wear, died instantly in the crash on the A1(M) in County Durham last July.

Ion Onut, of the Scottish borders, was jailed for eight years and 10 months at Durham Crown Court after admitting three counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

He had spent almost £50 to engage with users on the adult dating sites, and was looking at profiles and editing his own over a period of 40 minutes leading up to the smash.

His last interaction on his phone was in the seconds before the collision and he was “utterly oblivious” to the stationary vehicles ahead, the court was told.

Onut, 41, did not brake before driving into the line of traffic at 58mph.

Judge James Adkin, who banned Onut from driving for 10 years after his release, said: “You were not asleep at the wheel, which would have been bad enough, in fact you were trawling the internet looking for casual sexual partners.”

Junior Sullivan, a soldier who lost his mother and step-father, told the court he felt “unbearable rage at the sight of other drivers using their mobile phones”.

Mr Mullen was a loving father to his three children and was about to become a grandfather, his daughter Orlaigh told the court.

Sergeant Catherine Iley of Durham Constabulary said after the case: “It was incredibly distressing and upsetting for those who witnessed the collision and for the emergency responders, including police officers, firefighters and paramedics, who attended the scene.

“The horror of what they witnessed that day will no doubt remain with them for many years to come.”



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