WhatsApp trucker in fatal crash gets community service
The trucker from Gelderse Huissen who caused a fatal accident in 2013 was given a sentence of 240 hours community service on Thursday. Investigations proved that the 27-year-old D. had been sending WhatsApp messages while driving.
D.’s reckless driving had caused the life of a 47-year-old utility worker from Yerseke on October 8 2013. The man had been working on the roadside on A58, but even with its lights flashing on his utility car that was parked on the shoulder of the road, D. did not see him. His truck crashed into the utility vehicle, severely injuring the worker. The man died in the hospital later. Investigations showed that D. had sent no less than 97 WhatsApp messages about that night’s dinner to his girlfriend from the moment he started driving. He had also taken pictures with his phone and surfed the internet. He had attempted to erase his phone history, but police perused his girlfriend’s phone to get to the truth. D.’s former employer had listed him among the five workers with the most traffic violations. Aside from the community service the judge in Middelburg also gave D. a two month conditional jail sentence and ordered his driver’s license revoked for a period of three years, two of which conditional. The Prosecutor’s Office had demanded four months in jail and a two-year driving ban. “A lower sentence would not be justifiable,” the state attorneys said. It is not clear if they will appeal the sentence.