A GALASHIELS lorry driver who killed three people in a horrific multi-vehicle crash on the motorway near Durham has been jailed.

Ion Nicu Onut, 41, was driving a Scania lorry carrying fertiliser when he lost control on the A1(M) at Bowburn, on July 15 last year.

Durham Crown Court heard he had been looking at sex dating websites at the time of the crash and did not see the stationary traffic ahead.

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Two lorries and four cars were involved in the collision and David Daglish, 57, and Elaine Sullivan, 59, from Seaham, and Paul Mullen, 51, of Washington, died from their injuries.

Several people were also injured in the crash, on the northbound carriageway near junction 61, and one of the lorries caught fire.

Onut admitted three counts of causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier court hearing in December.

Border Telegraph: Ion OnutIon Onut

Judge James Adkin jailed him for eight years and ten months.

The judge said: “You were preoccupied with forming casual sexual relationships with strangers while driving down the motorway at 50mph.

“You failed to see the traffic. The consequences were catastrophic.

“The lives of those close to those who died will forever be blighted by their untimely demise.”

The judge said he will serve half of his sentence in prison and the rest on licence, meaning he will be free in four years and five months.

Onut will also be banned from diving for a total of ten years when he is released.