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Hadleigh lorry driver jailed for over two years for crash along M42 in Warwickshire which paralysed eight-year-old and injured family

A Hadleigh lorry driver has been jailed for over two years over a collision which injured a family and left a child paralysed.

Dominic Nicholls, 53, of Inkerman Terrace, was handed a 30-month sentence at Warwick Crown Court last Thursday.

This was in connection with a crash on the M42 northbound in Warwickshire on April 28 last year.

A photo released by Warwickshire Police shows the aftermath of the crash. Credit: Warwickshire Police
A photo released by Warwickshire Police shows the aftermath of the crash. Credit: Warwickshire Police

Around midnight, Nicholls’ lorry smashed into the rear of a Nissan X-Trail parked along the hard shoulder of the motorway.

The car was occupied by a family, including an eight-year-old. All four victims sustained injuries – and the eight-year-old, whose condition was initially deemed "life-threatening," has been left paralysed.

She will now require lifelong care, and is unable to walk or talk.

Following the crash, Nicholls was charged with dangerous driving causing serious injury.

Alongside his prison sentence, he was disqualified from driving for seven years.

He will have to pass an extended driving test if he ever wishes to get his licence back.

He has been ordered to pay a £190 victim surcharge.

PC Craig Pearson, of Warwickshire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This is a very sad and tragic case. Mr Nicholls has never provided an explanation for why he allowed his HGV to travel directly onto the hard shoulder towards the family’s X-Trail car.

“The overall responsibility for the speed and control of the vehicle must lay entirely within the hands of its driver – Dominic Nicholls.

“The dash cam footage from the HGV shows that Mr Nicholls makes no attempt to brake, or take avoiding action prior to the collision.

“The standard of driving falls far below that expected of a careful and competent driver.

“We hope this sentence brings some comfort to the family whose lives have been devastated by what happened that day.”