A Mansfield lorry driver has been jailed for six years after causing a crash which killed a three-year-old girl and her unborn brother and seriously injured their mother.
Thomas Hunter, 59, of Mansfield Road, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court today after previously admitting causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
He received six years’ imprisonment for causing death by dangerous driving, three years and eight months’ imprisonment for causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was disqualified from driving for five years and four months. The sentences will run concurrently, making a total of six years' imprisonment.
On Thursday August 25, 2016, Hunter was driving a heavy goods vehicle on the northbound carriageway of the A34 at Hinksey Hill, Oxford.
His vehicle collided with seven cars and as a result, Isla Wiggin, aged three, and her mother, Collette Wiggin, aged 31, were seriously injured and taken to hospital for treatment.
Sadly, Isla died in hospital on Saturday August 27.
Mrs Wiggin was pregnant at the time of the collision and as a result of the incident, sadly lost her unborn baby, which the family had named Harry.
Senior investigating officer Sergeant Beth Walton, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This has been a tragic case in which the actions of one person – Thomas Hunter - have resulted in the deaths of a little girl and her unborn baby brother, and serious injuries being sustained by their mother, Colette Wiggin.
“For reasons we have not been able to fully ascertain, Thomas Hunter was driving his lorry in a dangerous manner, and his actions that day have devastated a family, which will never be the same again.
“If Hunter had taken care over his driving, and had been paying full attention to the road, Isla would be here today, along with baby Harry.
“I would also like to pay tribute to Isla and Harry’s parents, Mr and Mrs Wiggin.
“They have been through something which no parents should ever have to endure, and I cannot begin to imagine the pain that this incident has caused them.
“I would like to thank them for their incredible bravery throughout the police investigation and the court process, and I am grateful that they have been spared the trauma of a trial process.
“The collision caused by Hunter also affected a number of other drivers and witnesses, some of whom sustained injuries, and I would like to thank them for their support during our investigation.
“This case shows what the catastrophic consequences can be when drivers are not concentrating when at the wheel, and I would urge all motorists to never allow their concentration to lapse while driving.
“This incident was entirely preventable.”