Lorry driver tried to delete evidence he was on phone when he killed nurse in M62 horror crash

Martinez

A lorry driver who was texting at the wheel before his wagon ploughed into three other vehicles and killed a nurse has been jailed.

Nicholas Liever then tried to delete the data from his mobile, told police he was not distracted and claimed the crash on the M62 near Huddersfield was unavoidable.

But after it was retrieved by a specialist investigator, the 49-year-old was charged with causing death by dangerous driving over the horror crash, which closed the motorway for 20 hours on September 5, 2019. 

Yesterday he pleaded guilty to the offence and was jailed for four years and four months at Leeds Crown Court.  

Liever was driving a Volvo HGV which crashed into a Volkswagen Passat, an Iveco Vehicle Transporter and a Volkwagen Touareg on the M62 in West Yorkshire.

Nicholas Liever, pictured, has been jailed for four years and four months for killing a woman when hitting her vehicle with his lorry on the M62 in West Yorkshire

Nicholas Liever, pictured, has been jailed for four years and four months for killing a woman when hitting her vehicle with his lorry on the M62 in West Yorkshire

The driver of the Passat, 51-year-old Karen McDonagh, of Goole, East Yorkshire, was airlifted to hospital but later died of her injuries.

Emergency services rushed to the scene and spent nearly an entire day dealing with the aftermath of the horror crash on the Eastbound carriageway. 

A police probe found Liever, Clifton Road in Fishtoft, Lincolnshire, had been exchanging text messages in the time leading up to the collision – sending the last one at around the time of the crash.

It also found he had attempted to delete the data from his phone, but this was retrieved by a specialist investigator.

In interview, he told detectives he was not distracted at the time of the collision and claimed that it was unavoidable, police said.

An inquest opening into Karen’s death heard how she was identified by her partner, Ian Frost.

Her sister Debbie Clowes Yelland said Karen was ‘gorgeous, vibrant, fierce, funny and lovely’.

Karen McDonagh, 51, was airlifted to hospital following the crash, but died of her injuries. Her sister Debbie Clowes Yelland described her as 'gorgeous, vibrant, fierce, funny and lovely'

Karen McDonagh, 51, was airlifted to hospital following the crash, but died of her injuries. Her sister Debbie Clowes Yelland described her as ‘gorgeous, vibrant, fierce, funny and lovely’ 

In a heartbreaking Facebook post, she said the days since her death ‘have been amongst the most difficult she had ever experienced’.

And she slammed drivers who complained about the delays.

She said at the time: ‘Unfortunately, there were many comments by people complaining about the delays.

‘For anyone who happens to read this, I’m appealing to you to look at the bigger picture next time you are stuck in traffic that’s not moving anywhere.

‘You may be late for work, but you will get there eventually. You may have to miss an appointment, but you can make another.

 ‘You may not get home in time to tuck your children in their beds tonight, but you will be there tomorrow.

‘You may miss a concert, but there will be plenty more in the future.

‘You might miss a flight and be delayed getting away on holiday, but there will be plenty more opportunities for you to travel.

‘Some will never have any of these opportunities again.

‘Please, if you can be anything, be kind, be thoughtful and send out positive thoughts and love to those unfortunate enough to delay you.’

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Constable Jenny Stanley of West Yorkshire Police said: ‘This is yet another example of how dangerous using a mobile phone at the wheel of a moving vehicle can be.

‘Liever has admitted responsibility for causing this collision and now has some time to reflect on his actions, which resulted in the death of a much-loved family member and impacted on the lives of those involved in what was a traumatic incident.

‘Our sympathies remain with the family of Karen McDonagh and we hope that this outcome will give them some comfort.’

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