Page last updated at 13:02 GMT, Monday, 2 February 2009

Texting crash motorist is jailed

A driver found guilty of killing another motorist as she used her mobile phone to send a string of text messages and make calls has been jailed.

Phillipa Curtis, from Suffolk, crashed into Victoria McBryde's parked car at 70mph on the A40 near Wheatley - Ms McBryde was fatally injured.

The 21-year-old was found guilty of death by dangerous driving at Oxford Crown Court at an earlier hearing.

She was jailed for 21 months and given a three-year driving ban.

Judge Julian Hall said it was "folly and madness" to use a phone while driving and it had been "disastrous" for Curtis and Ms McBryde and her family.

Phone warning

During the trial Curtis, a waitress, had told the court she had been "hyper" as she set off on her two-hour journey to Oxford on 20 November last year.

She made various calls and sent text messages to a number of friends using predictive text on her flip-top phone.

Shortly after making a call, her car hit Ms McBryde's parked car, then spun into oncoming traffic, hitting two more vehicles.

Ms McBryde, 24, from Northamptonshire, who had stopped to deal with a burst tyre, suffered a fatal brain injury in the crash.

Curtis, who injured her arm, had told Oxford Crown Court she had felt there were times when using a phone while driving was acceptable.

Judge Hall said he hoped the case would send out a warning to other drivers not to use their phones when behind the wheel.



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