Stevenage lorry driver who ploughed into stationary traffic without braking, killing elderly couple, is jailed
PUBLISHED: 12:48 18 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:04 18 February 2017
A lorry driver from Stevenage who killed an elderly couple when he ploughed into stationary traffic at 56 miles per hour, without braking at all, was yesterday jailed.
Martyn Graham, of Canterbury Way, inexplicably failed to brake despite having 17 seconds’ warning of the queue on the A421 Bedford bypass on January 12 last year.
And at Luton Crown Court yesterday the 58-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injuries by dangerous driving.
Judge Philip Bartle QC jailed Graham for a total of four years and eight months, and banned him from driving for five years.
A total of six vehicles were involved in the crash, including a Toyota Auris occuped by grandparents Martin Spratt, 70, and his 68-year-old wife Evelyn – both from Buckden in Cambridgeshire.
Mrs Spratt sadly died at the scene, and her husband died in hospital.
Also seriously injured were the man at the wheel of the first vehicle hit – a stationary Ford Transit at the back of the queue – and a woman driving a Vauxhall Corsa.
The Transit driver’s injuries were to the neck – and the officer who led the investigation said both motorists were ‘still struggling to deal with the aftermath of their injuries’.
PC Andy Ralph from the Beds, Cambs and Herts Forensic Collision Investigation Unit said: “This was a truly tragic and totally avoidable incident in which two people died and a further two people are still struggling to deal with the aftermath of their injuries.
“At no stage throughout this whole investigation has Martyn Graham provided an explanation as to why he drove in such a dangerous manner.
“It remains a complete mystery why such an experienced driver was distracted to the point he did not take any action to avoid this tragic collision, travelling for 17 seconds with a clear view ahead, and with the brake lights on the stationary vehicles clearly visible for a large proportion of that time.
“Although nothing can repair the emotional damage caused by this incident, we hope that today’s sentencing will provide some justice to those affected.”