Shocking footage of an HGV driver ploughing into the back of a security van as he texted on his mobile phone has been released after police described it as “the worst case of prolonged distracted driving” ever seen.
Derek Holland was jailed for three and a half years after in-cab footage captured 42 separate incidents of poor driving, before the driver collided with a broken down van on the A27. The three occupants – the driver, a prison escort and a prisoner, all sustained injuries. Sussex police said Holland was in “almost persistent” use of his mobile phone while not wearing a seatbelt, as well as taking his hands off the wheel to peel a banana and wave at traffic lights.
Hove Crown Court heard how the HGV driver also used a replica seatbelt buckle to prevent the alarm from activating and only put his actual seatbelt on when he pulled up behind a police car at traffic lights. As soon as the police car was out of a sight, he removed the belt again.
Following the crash, Holland was subsequently arrested and charged with dangerous driving, and three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. In interview, he admitted his behaviour was “atrocious”.
Detective Sergeant Rob Baldwin said: “This is the worst case of prolonged distracted driving that I have seen. This was very much aggravated by the fact that Holland had responsibility for driving a large goods vehicle, and he would have been well aware of the risks he was taking.”