A truck driver who killed three people when he crashed into stationary cars as he looked at sex sites on his phone has given a tearful apology to their families from prison.
Ion Onut, 41, was trawling for “casual sexual partners” on sites including “S**g Today” for 40 minutes while he drove on the A1.
The driver smashed into and killed Paul Mullen, 51, and couple Elaine Sullivan, 59, and David Daglish, 57, as they queued in traffic.
Two other women one of whom was pregnant, were also seriously hurt.
He was jailed for eight years and 10 months at Durham Crown Court after admitting three counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
He has now issued an apology from prison as part of a BBC documentary titled Deadly Browsing: The Lorry Driver.
Onut said it was a “really bad choice” to be on the phone. Reading from his phone, he said;
“There’s a million things I could tell people.
“I want to apologise.
“I want to say I’m really sorry, because I feel really bad for what happened.
“I feel bad for the people who lost loved ones, people injured who have to suffer with back flashes (flashbacks) and injuries for the rest of their lives.
“It’s really hard to accept that, living for the rest of your life with that in your head is not easy either.”
Junior Sullivan, whose mum and stepdad were killed in the crash, said he hoped drivers would pay attention as he watched the apology.
He told the show:
“If people look at it and think, ‘I don’t want to be that person, I don’t want to be in prison, I don’t want to have killed three people, I don’t want that on my conscience, look at what it’s done to that guy’, then hopefully they will take something away from that.”
The documentary used police body-worn camera footage to show the immediate aftermath of the fireball crash, as well as the moment Onut is asked by police to hand over his phone.
It also features survivors who were injured and by-standers who raised the alarm and were left badly traumatised by what they saw.