Lorry driver is sentenced to three years in prison after killing two people on M11 near Birchanger

PUBLISHED: 16:57 02 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:57 02 June 2017

Roger Sharratt, who was sentenced to three years in prison. Picture: Essex Police

Roger Sharratt, who was sentenced to three years in prison. Picture: Essex Police

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A 52-year-old man who killed two people and injured two others due to dangerous driving has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Ellie Mills, who was killed in the crash. Picture: Essex PoliceEllie Mills, who was killed in the crash. Picture: Essex Police

Roger Sharratt, a lorry driver of Bagots Oak, in Staffordshire, previously pleaded not guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving after he was involved in a collision on May 15, 2014.

Sharratt was driving a lorry and drawbar goods vehicle northbound along the M11 near Birchanger when he crashed into the back of a black Jaguar XF.

This car then collided with a silver Toyota Auris, pushing it under the back of a white Mercedes 1833 horsebox.

The Toyota burst into flames before smashing into a white Vauxhall Combo van.

Geoff Mills, who was killed in the crash. Picture: Essex PoliceGeoff Mills, who was killed in the crash. Picture: Essex Police

Both occupants of the Toyota, Geoffrey Mills, 53, and Eleanor Joy Mills, 45, were killed.

The two people travelling in the Jaguar XF suffered concussion, cuts and bruises, and one of the horses suffered serious injury while a pony travelling with it died.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard that Sharratt was driving at 55mph using cruise control and failed to react to the slowing traffic.

Having only slept for three to four hours the night before, and known to have sleep apnoea syndrome, it is likely he was asleep at the wheel.

DI Scott Egerton, senior investigating officer, said: “Today’s sentencing comes almost three years to the date that Geoffrey and Eleanor Mills tragically lost their lives.

He added: “By driving the vehicle in a fatigued and sleep deprived state, he [Sharratt] caused a horrendous crash that killed two people and injured two others.

“Our thoughts continue to go out to the Mills family and I hope today’s sentence allows them to move forward with their lives.”

Sharratt was found guilty on April 28 and was given two three-year sentences for each count of death by dangerous driving, to run concurrently.

He was also disqualified from driving for three years and six months and will have to take an extended driving test.

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