Lorry driver jailed for causing man's death in A13 Pitsea Flyover collision

By YA Reporter in Crime

A LORRY driver has been jailed for causing death by dangerous driving on the A13 in Pitsea.

Christopher Simmons, 64, of Maden Close in Bacup, Lancashire, was convicted of causing the death of 68-year-old Tiptree man Philip Gunfield in a collision on September 21, 2015.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “Simmons was overtaking traffic in his truck on the London-bound side of the A13 Pitsea flyover when he pulled into a lane and collided with the rear of Philip Gunfield’s tractor.

“Mr Gunfield was thrown from the tractor, which was pushed across the central reservation barrier and into the side of a Citroen Dispatch van. He suffered multiple injuries and died shortly after being airlifted to the Royal London Hospital. The Citroen driver was knocked unconscious and suffered minor injuries.”

Simmons suffered minor injuries in the accident and pleaded guilty to causing Mr Gunfield’s death at Basildon Crown Court on January 12, 2017. He was sentenced yesterday and jailed for two-and-a-half years.

He was also given a four-and-a-half year driving ban and ordered to take an extended driving test after the ban is up.

In a statement issued via Essex Police, Mr Gunfield’s family said: "Words cannot express the heartache caused by the tragedy of Phil’s death; the circumstances make it so much harder.

"He was a loving family man, kind and caring. He is dearly treasured and will be missed by many.

"Phil worked and loved the countryside all his life.

"Quite often the things we feel so deeply are the hardest things to say. After the conclusion from today, we hope, as a strong family unit, we will be able to move on as Phil will always live on in our hearts and our memories.”

Investigating officer Pc Jenny Pirie said: "The lack of attention Simmons showed behind the wheel led to Mr Gunfield losing his life, and both families are going to have to live with the consequences of this tragedy for the rest of their lives.

"Myself and family liaison officer Pc Nigel Taplin thank Mr Gunfield’s family for their support throughout the investigation and court case.”

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