Man sent 29 texts before ploughing into two police officers

It was a self-described “stupid mistake” that changed the life of one man and has left another facing jail.

Jakob Thornton was looking down at his mobile phone when he ploughed into police officers Jonathan Wright and Matthew Foley in Sydney’s southeast in February last year.

One needed his leg partly amputated.

On Tuesday a court heard Thornton sent 29 messages on his phone before the accident.

Jakob Thornton sent 29 text messages during a 35-minute trip in Sydney. Source: 7News

“All I can do is apologise and pray that they both recover,” Thornton wrote in a letter.

“Causing that much damage for such a stupid mistake has weighed very heavily on myself and I am sure it will follow me for the rest of my life.”

The 22-year-old mowed down the constables while they were setting up an RBT stop on Campbelltown Road.

The court heard that Thornton sent 29 messages during the 35 minute trip from  Kirrawee to Leumeah.

Matthew Foley was one of the officers struck down by Jakob Thornton’s car. Source: 7News
Jonathan Wright had his leg amputated following the crash. Source 7News

He admitted looking down at his phone for between 10 and 20 seconds and travelling up to 300 metres before looking up and realising the officers were there.

It was “like someone driving with their eyes closed”,  the judge was told.

Foley suffered a fractured leg, while Wright had his leg amputated below the knee.

The crash scene in February 2018. Source: 7News

“Because of limited physical capabilities I have had to reconsider having further children,” he wrote.

It is expected Thornton will receive a considerable discount at sentencing because of his young age, no prior convictions, early guilty plea and the fact he has shown remorse.

He will be sentenced next month and faces up to seven years in jail.

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