A Chester lorry driver who caused a motorway pile-up which killed a dad and left another man with life-changing injuries was jailed for two and a half years.
Mark Done, 51, was crushed when his stationary Citroen car was hit by Peter Tootle’s Volvo lorry on the M53 in Wirral on September 30 last year.
Liverpool Crown Court heard Tootle ploughed into the rear of Mr Done’s car, which was queuing in traffic on the southbound lane near the junction 4 turn-off for Bebington, after an earlier crash on the motorway.
The collision at around 10.20am shunted the car into eight other vehicles, severely injuring Paul Johnson, who was in the next car ahead, leaving him with ‘profound and permanent’ injuries.
Tootle, 61, of Naomi Close, Blacon, near Chester, admitted causing Mr Done’s death and serious injury to Mr Johnson by dangerous driving.
Judge Andrew Menary, QC, said: “This was a straight road, a sunny cloudless day, and the defendant in any view ran straight into the back of a queue of traffic that was there to be seen.”
Kim Egerton, prosecuting, said a number of other passengers were also treated for injuries ranging in seriousness.
The family members of Mr Done, who lived in Kirkby, cried in the public gallery and Tootle sobbed and rocked back and forth in the dock as harrowing footage of the crash, taken from his cab, was played in court.
Harpreet Sandhu, defending, said Tootle was a man of previous good character and the crash ‘was in every sense a tragedy’.
Mr Sandhu said: “This was a man whose remorse was instant at the scene.”
He said the married grandad had suffered from significant health problems.
Judge Menary said the footage of the crash was ‘truly shocking’.
The judge said the incident represented a personal tragedy for Tootle as well, accepting that he was genuinely remorseful.
He banned Tootle from the road for six years and three months.
Constable Darran Doyle, from Merseyside Police’s Road Policing Unit, said: “This was a significant incident which has had a devastating impact on a number of families.
“This was an avoidable collision which did not need to happen. One person died and one person suffered life changing head injuries and other multiple injuries from which they have not recovered.
“All this could have been avoided if the driver had heeded the warning signals which were clear to be seen.
“The incident has had a devastating effect on all of those involved. The deceased has left a wife, a son and daughter.”