A LORRY driver who killed a police officer as he helped a woman on the hard shoulder of the M1 has been jailed for two years and nine months.
PC Mark Goodlad, 41, was killed just outside Crigglestone on October 24, 2011, when he was helping the woman change a flat tyre.
Andrew Abernathy’s lorry veered into the hard shoulder, hitting PC Goodlad’s marked police car which had its sirens on.
PC Goodlad was trapped between his own car and the woman’s car and later died from his injuries.
Yesterday, Leeds Crown Court heard that Abernathy, 45, told police afterwards he had something in his eye which had caused a “momentary lapse of concentration.”
Prosecutor Andrew Dallas said: “The lorry did not swerve into the hard shoulder in circumstances that amounted to a momentary lapse of concentration or anything like it.
“There was no immediate attempt to recover its proper position on the road. On the evidence, it drifted on to the hard shoulder and stayed there.”
Defending, Gary Woodhall, said Abernathy, who had been driving lorries since 2001, fully regretted causing the death of PC Goodlad.
He said Abernathy, of Oldham, had since suffered from post traumatic stress.
Jailing him for death by dangerous driving, Judge Scott Wolstenholme said: “This was more than a momentary lapse of concentration.
“You didn’t intend to drift on to the hard shoulder and drive straight into a police car.
“You did it because you didn’t look and you hadn’t been paying attention to the road for a considerable period of time in driving terms, all the while trundling along in that enormous truck at 50 miles per hour.”
Abernethy was also disqualified from driving for three years.