This is the moment when a truck driver collides with the back of a van and seriously injures three people – after being distracted by his mobile phone.
Derek Holland, 59, was filmed by a camera mounted on the inside of his vehicle’s cab as he plowed into a safety vehicle at almost 60 km / h.
Seconds earlier, he could be seen staring down at his device with only one hand on top of the steering wheel.
Detectives look into the footage recorded 42 separate incidents of ‘bad driving’ during the Netherlands’ four-hour journey before the collision near Lewes around 1 p.m. 10.55 on 10 August 2020.
This included an ‘almost persistent’ use of his mobile phone without wearing a seat belt and took both hands off the steering wheel to peel a banana and to ‘wave in traffic lights’.
This is the moment truck driver Derek Holland looks up from his cell phone seconds before crashing into the back of a safety car on the A27 near Lewes, East Sussex. Three people in the van were injured
The crash caused the main road to be closed in both directions with rescue services down the site
Sussex Police said that throughout the journey through the south of England, he used a replica seat belt in the socket to prevent the alarm from being activated and only put on his actual seat belt when he pulled behind a police car at traffic lights.
As soon as the police vehicle was out of sight, he removed the belt again.
The video ends with Holland distracted and bends over to send and receive messages before looking up moments before the collision just outside Lewes on the A27.
Holland had driven at speed into the back of a prison security car that had broken down on the dual carriageway just outside Lewes.
A prison car driver, escort officer and prisoner all suffered serious injuries in the incident.
The Netherlands was arrested and charged with dangerous driving and three counts of causing serious personal injury in dangerous driving. He pleaded guilty to all four charges at Hove Crown Court and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison
Sussex police detectives looking at the footage recorded 42 separate incidents of ‘bad driving’ during Holland’s four-hour journey before the collision near Lewes around 1 p.m. 10.55 on 10 August 2020. The picture: The Netherlands puts on its seat belt when a police car looks up in front
Sussex Police said footage showed an ‘almost persistent’ use of his mobile phone without wearing a seat belt and took both hands off the steering wheel to peel a banana and to ‘wave at traffic lights’
Holland was subsequently arrested and charged with dangerous driving and three counts of causing serious injury in dangerous driving.
In the interview, he admitted that his behavior was ‘cruel’.
The Netherlands pleaded guilty to all four charges and appeared in Hove Crown Court on Tuesday, July 27, where he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
He was also disqualified from driving for 57 months and will have to take an extended genetic test if he wants to drive again.
His honorary judge Rennie gave Holland credit for his guilty plea, saying he had shown remorse and was ‘clearly ashamed’ of his ‘terrible’ way of driving.
He added: ‘You have not taken into account public safety or the law. Very clearly there was no one else to blame other than yourself for having caused this collision.
His Honor Judge Rennie gave Holland credit for his guilty plea, saying he had shown remorse and was ‘clearly ashamed’ of his ‘terrible’ way of driving.
‘When someone drives with their hands off the steering wheel using a mobile phone, driving while using their elbows and eating at the same time, it is a continuation of dangerous driving, and this case involved about 42 incidents.’
Detective Sergeant Rob Baldwin of the Serious Collision Investigations Unit said: ‘It was fortunate that the company had cameras installed on their truck, which allowed us to investigate the driver’s actions. The company fully cooperated with our study.
‘We reviewed the video footage just the morning of the collision and found 42 separate incidents with very poor driving. These were mostly where Holland was interacting with his cell phone, but also where he had taken his hands off the steering wheel to eat and did not have the proper control over his vehicle.
‘This is the worst case of prolonged distracted driving I’ve seen. This was greatly exacerbated by the fact that Holland was in charge of driving a large freight vehicle and he would have been aware of the risks he was taking. He showed a complete disregard for the safety of other road users.
‘We strongly advise drivers not to engage in any activity that distracts them from the driving task – this can still lead to an offense of not having proper control of a vehicle.
‘Even if a device is not held in the hand, distracted driving can lead to devastating consequences and is likely to result in prosecution for dangerous or careless driving, as this case shows.’