Cops commended for work over A34 horror crash

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Thames Valley Police officers and staff have received commendations from Chief Constable Francis Habgood for their work as part of the Force’s response to a collision on the A34 in which tragically four Dunstable people were killed.

Six Roads policing officers and two corporate communications officers received commendations at a ceremony at the Force’s Training Centre in Sulhamstead, near Reading.

The commendations reflect their work following an incident on the A34 near East Ilsley, which took place on 10 August last year.

Insp Andy Storey, Sgt Jack Hawkins, Det Sgt Gavin Collier, PC David Beeson, PC John Simpkins, PC Philip Hanham, digital communications officer Ellie Selby and media officer Lucy Billen were presented with the commendations on Tuesday.

On 10 August 2016 police officers were called to a report of a collision on the northbound carriageway of the A34 between the East Ilsley and West Ilsley junctions shortly after 5.10pm.

A slow moving articulated lorry had caused a tailback. Two other lorries and four smaller vehicles were all stationary behind it. A fourth lorry being driven by Tomasz Kroker, aged 30, drove into the back of the vehicles at approximately 50mph.

Tracy Houghton, aged 45, from Dunstable, and the three children travelling in the car with her - her two sons Josh Houghton aged 11 and Ethan Houghton aged 13 and her step-daughter Aimee Goldsmith, aged 11 - all died at the scene.

A further five people were injured in the collision.

On 31 October 2016 Kroker was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment at Reading Crown Court after being convicted of causing the deaths of a mother and three children in a crash on the A34 by driving while he was using his mobile phone.

Insp Andy Storey said “Our thoughts remain with the family members who have been affected by this terrible, and avoidable, collision which resulted in the loss of their loved ones.”