AS A LORRY driver starts a five-year jail sentence this week for causing the death of a young Great Haywood teaching assistant, her mother has made a heartfelt plea to drivers not to use mobile phones.
Laura Jane Thomas, known as “Tink” to her friends because of her petite size, died in the accident on the A5 near Shrewsbury.
Laura, 20, of Hunters Close, and her fiance Lewis Pagett, had broken down on their way to a holiday in Aberystwyth when the lorry ploughed into them.
Lorry driver Ian Glover, 44, from Birmingham, had been flicking through profiles of women on an explicit dating site, Shrewsbury Crown Court was told.
“Since Laura died I’ve become much more aware of the number of people who use mobile phones to call or text while they’re driving,” said her mother, Lisa.
“If you’d have asked me 12 months ago, I’d have said, give them an on-the-spot fine. Now I’d just like to say to people to think about what could happen. It only takes a second for someone to die.”
The court heard that Glover, a lorry driver for Sainsbury’s, was driving a 44-tonne Mercedes lorry between 50mph and 56mph at the time of the crash last July.
“He says he’s full of remorse and that it’s ruined his life,” said Lisa. “But Laura was only 20 years old. Her whole life was ahead of her.”
She said that the whole village had been affected by Laura’s death, and that friends had rallied round to remember her.
“She was a very girly girl. Her friends called her Tink because she was like Tinkerbell the fairy,” said Lisa.
A “fairy walk” is being arranged for midsummer day on Cannock Chase to raise money for Laura’s favourite charities.
For more information visit littlelaura.net or the Facebook page..