Young girl unable to think, talk or walk again after horror crash in Warwickshire – lorry driver jailed
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A lorry driver has been jailed for causing a crash in Warwickshire that left a family with serious injuries - including a young girl who will now need a carer for the rest of her life.
The family were driving home from their holiday when they pulled onto the hard shoulder of M42 northbound in April 2022 after a fault light showed up on their vehicle.
But while the car was stationary on the hard shoulder, HGV driver Dominic Nicholls crashed into the back of the vehicle.
The young girl, who was eight at the time of the crash and is now aged 10, will sadly be unable to think, talk or walk again and will have to use a wheelchair.
Nicholls, 53, from Inkerman Terrace, Hadleigh, Ipswich, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for the offence of dangerous driving causing serious injury to three members of the same family.
He was disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for seven years and will have to pass an extended driving test to drive again. He was also ordered to pay £190 victim surcharge during his sentencing at Warwick Crown Court on October 19.
The collision on the M42 northbound between junctions 8-9 near Kingsbury in Warwickshire happened just before midnight on April 28, 2022.
The family were travelling to their home in Stafford from Heathrow Airport after returning from a family holiday in Sri Lanka. A warning light had appeared on the dashboard and so, the family pulled over on to the hard shoulder to investigate the issue. In the vehicle was a family of four including the eight-year-old daughter and five-year-old son.
Nicholls was travelling about a minute behind in the same direction in his 40 tonne HGV and for reasons unknown, the lorry drifted onto the hard shoulder at 55mph and collided with the rear of the Nissan X-Trail before the family had time to exit the vehicle.
As a direct result of this collision all four occupants of the X-Trail were injured – most seriously the eight-year-old daughter who suffered life threatening injuries and was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. She thankfully survived the collision but will need a carer for the rest of her life.
Her mother and father were also seriously injured and their five-year-old son suffered minor injuries in the collision.
PC Craig Pearson of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit said “This is a very sad and tragic case. Mr Nicholls has never provided an explanation for why he allowed his HGV to travel directly onto the hard shoulder towards the family’s X-Trail car, the overall responsibility for the speed and control of the vehicle must lay entirely within the hands of its driver – Dominic Nicholls. The dash cam footage from the HGV shows that Mr Nicholls makes no attempt to brake or take avoiding action prior to the collision. The standard of driving falls far below that expected of a careful and competent driver. We hope this sentence brings some comfort to the family whose lives have been devastated by what happened that day.”