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Fatal lorry crash text message trial

Judge calls it 'wickedly dangerous'

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A man was killed as a truck wobbled off the road because the driver was too busy composing a text message to pay attention to his driving, a court was told yesterday.

Paul Browning, 36, from Kenley in South London, has admitted causing death by dangerous driving, but denies that he was texting at the time of the accident.

Despite Browning having entered a guilty plea, Judge Daniel Worsley said that he had to hear from witnesses anyway. He said that if Browning had been composing a text message at the time of the accident it would have been "wickedly dangerous."

Browning's defence maintains that he was distracted by paperwork flying around in the cab of the truck. The judge said that if this were true, his actions would have been merely "dangerous."

This is the first hearing of its kind to involve text messages.

The victim, Paul Hammond, was talking to his mother in a lay by at the time of the accident. He had met her there to pick up his glasses that he needed for work

Barry Gilbert, prosecuting, said that while moving at over 50mph, Browning's truck veered into the lay by and struck Mr Hammond. He died of his injuries at the scene. ®

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