HGV driver was distracted by Facebook and medieval fantasy game before fatal crash

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A distracted HGV driver killed two people after he used phone apps at the wheel, a court has heard.

James Majury is accused of using apps including Facebook, Sky Sports and Hustle Castle from when he set off until the moment of the crash – about 45 minutes into his journey.

A minibus from Pontville School, a special educational needs school in Ormskirk, was one of the vehicles involved in the collision on the M58 at Bickerstaffe, Lancashire, on 8 January 2019.

Joe Cairns, 14, from Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, and staff member Anne Kerr, 50, from Southport, died from their injuries.

Majury pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and five counts of causing serious injury.

The crash involved an HGV, a minibus and a number of other vehicles
Image: The crash involved an HGV, a minibus and a number of other vehicles

Prosecutor Francis McEntee said Majury was “voluntarily distracted” leading up to the tragedy and had reacted “no more than half a second” before impact.

The court heard that messages were also exchanged during his journey.

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The 33-year-old was refused bail, remanded in custody and told to expect a long jail sentence on 31 March.

Both sides have agreed that his actions were at the most serious end of the scale and that he showed a flagrant disregard for the rules of the road.

Defence lawyer James Ageros QC said: “He would like to express his profound remorse and regret for his actions and for their tragic loss.

“One, of course, appreciates they are merely words but it is important that it is said on his behalf today.

“The events themselves have had a severe psychological and physical impact on Mr Majury.”

Tributes were paid to the teenager and Mrs Kerr after the crash.

The boy’s parents, Steph and Andy Cairns, said: “Joe, my brave boy, a true fighter with a heart of gold. An amazing sense of humour and infectious smile, a true superhero.”

Mrs Kerr’s family said: “Anne was much loved by all who knew her. She will be deeply missed by all her friends and family.

“She was a daughter, wife, and mum to two lovely boys. She was a lovely personality to be around. Her death has left us all heartbroken.”

Distracted HGV driver killed two after using apps at the wheel, court hears

A distracted HGV driver killed two people after he used phone apps at the wheel, a court has heard. James Majury is accused of using apps including Facebook, Sky Sports and Hustle Castle from when he set off until the moment of the crash – about 45 minutes into his journey.

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