Mobile phone crackdown: the road death victims

Bournemouth Echo: Mark Pitman Mark Pitman

FORMER Poole High School pupil Mark Pitman died along with two others in a head-on crash just seconds after a driver had been using his mobile phone.

Mark Pitman, 18, inset, a national volleyball champion, suffered fatal injuries when the Renault 19 he was travelling in was hit by a Rover 620i travelling on the wrong side of the road at Queen Anne Drive, Merely, in August 2003.

Picture editor Suzanne Manning, 23, and insurance administrator James Phillips, 28, from London also died.

Magistrates heard how Lee Jones, 24, from Mount Road, Bournemouth, had been on his mobile phone 20 to 25 seconds before the first 999 call was made. He was banned from driving for five years and fined £1,500 after admitting careless driving.

DORSET Police officer DC Ian Morton, 32, from New Milton, died when his speeding car lost control and crashed into a Highcliffe bungalow.

DC Morton phoned a colleague on October 26, 2008, after realising he was running late for a 5.30am briefing.

An inquest heard the crash happened within a minute of the mobile phone call being made.

Coroner Sheriff Payne said there was a “nagging feeling” he may have been using his phone near the time he lost control. “He was the author if his own misfortune.”

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