Driver who killed road worker was “on eBay” | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

Driver who killed road worker was “on eBay”

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A court heard that a van driver was “on eBay” around the time he veered into highway workers and killed an operative.

Exeter Crown Court was told that Anthony Tompkins was driving at 55mph on the A361 in North Devon when the incident happened.

Steven Tolly, 48, was hit by the wing mirror of the van inside protective cones and suffered head injuries. Other road workers were also injured after jumping out of the way of the van.

Tolly, from Tiverton, died six days later in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, after being thrown into the air by the force of the impact.

Tompkins, 45, has pleaded not guilty at Exeter Crown Court to causing death by dangerous driving.

According to a BBC report, Richard Posner, prosecuting, said records showed Tompkins used his phone four times in the half hour before the accident, with a six minute internet session around the time of the collision at approximately 11:00 GMT on 29 January 2013.

Posner said Tompkins supplemented his income as a driver by buying and selling furniture on the online auction site eBay.

He said: “There is compelling evidence that he accessed eBay, a site which he visits to buy furniture, and as a consequence of his behaviour he caused the death of Mr Tolly. That is the irresistible conclusion we invite the jury to reach.”

The prosecution said a police technology expert had set up a Galaxy Mobile telephone identical to the one owned by Tompkins with the same eBay app and found it was not possible for it to be activated unwittingly.

The court heard Tompkins, of Trehurst Farm, Saltash, Cornwall, claims he was suffering from a condition called sleep apnoea which caused him to have a “mini-sleep” at the time of the crash.

The trial continues.


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