A LORRY driver has been jailed for three years following a road accident which killed a mother and two of her children. On Friday the victims husband and father, Andrew Gitsham, of Gainsborough Avenue, Eaton Ford, warned it could happen to you after wi

Joshua Gitsham, holding sister Georgia

A LORRY driver has been jailed for three years following a road accident which killed a mother and two of her children.

On Friday the victims' husband and father, Andrew Gitsham, of Gainsborough Avenue, Eaton Ford, warned "it could happen to you" after witnessing 36-year-old James Wingfield jailed at Peterborough Crown Court,

His wife Stacey Gitsham, 26, son Joshua, two, and 11-week-old daughter Georgia were travelling north along the A1 near Little Paxton in a BMW on December 8 last year when it was struck from behind by Wingfield's articulated lorry.

The car burst into flames and Mrs Gitsham and her two children were later pronounced dead at the scene.

Mum, Stacey

Wingfield, of Colchester Street, Coventry, admitted three counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Speaking outside court following the hearing, Mr Gitsham said: "We were just an ordinary family doing ordinary things. Don't ever think it couldn't happen to you.

"These (accidents) are the things you read about in the paper, but we are not reading it, we are living it."

He added: "No words can convey how this tragedy has affected my life and the lives of our family and friends.

"Three years in prison seems a small price to pay for wrecking three lives."

The accident happened as traffic on the A1 slowed to negotiate some roadworks. A total of five vehicles were involved and several other people were left with minor injuries.

In court, Aidan Tevlin, prosecuting, said the crash was a result of Wingfield's "prolonged period of inattention".

The 40-foot long trailer was travelling at nearly 50mph when it struck the back of Mrs Gitsham's car.

David Holborn, in mitigation, said: "Mr Wingfield wants to make it clear that not for one moment was he seeking to evade responsibility for what he has done. He deeply apologises for what has happened."

Sentencing Wingfield, Judge Nicholas Coleman told the defendant: "I accept you are filled with remorse and on that morning you did not intend to do anything as tragic as this.

"You had a very clear view from your elevated position and as an experienced driver a heavy responsibility fell on your shoulders.

"It is important people realise that when workmen put up signs indicating roadworks they do so for a reason. The sooner the message gets out the better."

Superintendent Mick Gipp, from Cambridgeshire Constabulary's road policing unit, said: "The public need to accept that these incidents can happen to anybody and adjust their driving accordingly.

"It doesn't take much for these things to happen."

Judge Coleman said Wingfield will be eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence. He was also disqualified from driving for three years.