The owner of a tipper truck which veered out of control, killing four people, including a four year old girl, has been handed a seven year jail term.
Haulage firm boss Matthew Gordon has also been banned from being a company director for 12 years following the tragic accident. Meanwhile, a mechanic who said the lorry was safe just a few weeks before the incident has also been jailed. Peter Wood was given a five year, three month prison sentence.
Four year old Mitzi Steady was one of four people who died when the huge Scania truck veered down a hill in Bath, Somerset. Before the sentencing, her heartbroken mother Emmajade spoke of her absolute devastation, saying: “We are devastated that our bright, lively, beautiful, vibrant, outgoing little girl will never have her first day at school, learn to read, have best friends to giggle and play with… the list is endless.”
She said that she still found it hard to accept that Mitzi was gone, and she had trouble sleeping. Sentencing, Justice Brian Langstaff said that the brake failure was both foreseeable and avoidable.
Following the accident, the boss told the lorry driver not to tell anyone that there had been a brake warning light on. The judge said that the brakes had been in appalling condition and the vehicle should never have been on the road.
Mitzi had been holding hands with her grandma Margaret Rogers when they were both struck by the 32 tonne truck. Mrs Rogers suffered horrific injuries in the smash, and has had to have both of her legs amputated below the knee. She said she remembered getting off a bus, but had no memory of what had struck her. However, she does remember feeling desperate because she could not get up to go to her granddaughter.