Crash Death Driver: 18 Seconds on a Phone, 5 Years in Jail

September 28, 2018 Updated: September 28, 2018

A man has been jailed for five years after video footage showed him looking at his phone for 18 seconds before his truck plowed into a car, killing the occupant.

The incident happened last February in Dumfries Scotland.

David Shields, 34, admitted to dangerous driving and was sentenced to five years imprisonment on Sept. 28. He is banned from driving for seven and a half years.

Shields said he was ashamed of his actions and apologized to the family of Yvonne Blackman, who was killed in the crash.

Shields was driving a breakdown recovery truck at speed on the A75 in Dumfries, using his phone, mounted on the dashboard.

Video footage shows Shields focusing on his phone, glancing up after 18 seconds, and trying to brake just before his truck runs into a line of traffic.

Blackman, 66, of Lockerbie, was in the first car in the line. She never recovered from her injuries and died weeks later in the hospital.

Sgt. Paul Dodds of Dumfries Police said a statement, “This tragic and entirely avoidable crash clearly demonstrates the fatal consequences, which can occur when a driver allows themselves to be distracted by another device whether handheld or otherwise.”

Acknowledging that Shields had pleaded guilty, the judge said she was sure that he “bitterly regretted” his mistake.

Passing sentencing the judge, Lady Stacey said, “I have seen a video of the crash and know you were paying heed to your mobile phone for 18 seconds.”

“It was a very dangerous thing to do. I know you did not intend the catastrophic result, but you should have known the terrible risk you were taking,” she added.

Shield’s defense counsel John Scullion QC said, “He has asked me to apologized to Mrs. Blackman’s family and is ashamed of his actions that day.”

Blackman ‘s husband described the sentence as a “reasonable” deterrent.


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