Shropshire Star

First photo of HGV driver jailed for killing nurse on M6 through careless driving

The first photo of a HGV driver who killed a mother-of-two on the M6 has been released by police.

The first image has been released of Robert Ward, who has been jailed for causing the death of a mother from Oldbury. Photo: West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police have released the image of Robert Ward, who pleaded guilty two days into his trial for causing death by careless driving at Wolverhampton Crown Court after killing 41-year-old nurse Victoria Kavanagh in July 2020.

Ward, of Croft Street, Willenhall, was jailed for 34 weeks, of which he will serve 17, on December 16, as well as being banned from driving for 16 months and one week to start upon release.

Ward's HGV ploughed into Ms Kavanagh's Citroen as she waited to exit the M6 at junction ten for Walsall, he had been driving too close to the vehicle in front when he switched lanes to also exit the motorway.

His lorry did not have time to stop and hit her car at 18mph crushing it against another HGV in front.

At the time, Ms Kavanagh’s family paid tribute to her, saying: "Victoria was a loving mother and daughter and a friend to everyone she met.

“She graduated 18 months ago in children’s nursing and got her dream job shortly after working with safeguarding children.

“She had just been accepted to study for her Masters in Public Health and had so much to look forward to.

“She will leave behind a massive hole in our lives and will be forever missed."

Judge John Butterfield said: "This court is bound by the sentence guidelines put in place. I sentence you to 34 weeks, you will serve half of this and then be released on license.

"This should have been a normal day of commuting for Victoria Kavanagh. But you were driving too close to the vehicle in front before moving lane.

"Whilst being interviewed by the police afterwards you said you were looking at the gantry signs above the motorway, however, as we heard they did warn there was traffic ahead.

"You did enter a guilty plea but you only get minimum credit for that as it was so late. We have heard the victim statements. This sentence could be suspended but I feel this should be an immediate custodial sentence."

Speaking after Ward's sentencing, DC Damian Gibson from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "Ms Kavanagh's family have shown a great degree of patience and dignity having to wait for this case to come to its conclusion."

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