Driver checked phone for 18 seconds before horror crash that killed woman

A lorry driver has been jailed for five years after he was caught checking his phone for 18 seconds prior to a fatal crash.

David Shields, 34, crashed into mum-of-four Yvonne Blackman’s car while in a line of traffic in Dumfries, Scotland, last February.

Dash cam footage showed Shields, of Drongan, East Ayrshire, looking at his phone for a full 18 seconds before crashing into Mrs Blackman’s car.

Dash cam footage shows David Shields checking his phone for 18 seconds before crashing into Mrs Blackman’s car. Source: Sky Video

Mrs Blackman, 66, died in hospital several weeks after the crash.

The Lockerbie native was driving to meet friends when the fatal collision occurred on the morning of February 8, 2017.

She had become caught up in heavy traffic on the A75 Gretna to Stranraer road at the time of the tragedy.

Shields ploughed into the back of her Toyota Yaris in his truck after getting caught in the same traffic.

He was working for 911 Rescue Recovery.

“I have seen a video of the crash and know you were paying heed to your mobile phone for 18 seconds,” Judge Lady Stacey told Shields.

Mrs Blackman, 66, died in hospital several weeks after the crash.Source: Police Scotland

“I know you did not intend the catastrophic result, but you should have known the terrible risk you were taking.”

In addition, Shields was banned from driving for seven years and six months.

Shields has apologised to Mrs Blackman’s family and was “ashamed” about what happened on the fateful day.

Mrs Blackman’s husband, Ralph, a former professional driver, said he hoped the five-year jail term would send a message to those who use their mobile phones while driving.

“I hope this sentence deters any drivers from doing the same. They should realise the suffering and hurt it causes to the victim’s family,” he said.

“Only a second’s inattention can be dangerous and he had 18 seconds with his eyes off the road.”

Mrs Blackman left behind 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.