Watch lorry driver who killed three people in A1(M) horror smash speak out from prison cell about dangers of using a mobile phone at the wheel

A lorry driver who caused a collision which killed three people on the A1(M) has spoken out from his prison cell about the dangers of using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Ion Onut was using the internet on his phone when he crashed his Scania truck into slow moving traffic on the northbound carriageway of the A1(M) in County Durham last July, killing three people and injuring several others.

Ion Onut was using the internet on his phone when he crashed his Scania truck into slow moving traffic on the northbound carriageway of the A1(M) last July, killing three people and injuring several others.

Forensic examinations of his mobile phone found that Onut, of Galashiels, in Scotland, had been repeatedly using the device’s web browser throughout his journey from Cambridgeshire right up until the time of the collision.

He said: “I have to live with this for the rest of my life. I never had a chance to apologise, to say sorry for what I had done to those who lost their loved ones, the people who were injured, the ones who suffer from flashbacks.

“By being on my phone for a long period of time and then realising the traffic ahead of me had stopped, I had absolutely zero chance to act and pull my brakes on. When I saw the videos of what happened it was unimaginable and hard to see. It was so disturbing knowing that was me in that lorry ploughing through the cars.”

David Daglish and Elaine Sullivan.

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Junior Sullivan, whose parents, Elaine Sullivan and David Daglish died in the collision, has also spoken out about the tragedy.

He said: “I have no doubt he [Ion Onut] didn’t set out to kill some people but he made a conscious choice to use his mobile phone to do whatever he was doing. That is frustrating and ultimately it makes no difference in the grand scheme of things, neither of them can be brought back but I think he is in prison now and he has got to think about it every day.

"He had a wife and child and his 13-year-old daughter has now got to live with the fact that their dad has killed three people, injured and affected countless more people’s lives.”

Durham Constabulary shared this photo as the family of Paul Mullen, 51, from Washington, was named as one of three people who died in a crash on the A1(M) near Durham on Thursday, July 15.

Onut was charged with three counts of causing death by dangerous driving, which he admitted, and was jailed for eight years and ten months. He was also disqualified from driving for more than 14 years.

Detective Constable Natalie Horner, from Durham Constabulary’s Collision Investigation Unit, said: “We hope this film highlights just how devastating using a mobile phone or other device at the wheel of a vehicle can be - in one split second, your life and other innocent people’s lives might never be the same again. “Please, put the phone down while driving.”

Ion Onut.