Horrific moment of huge crash on A1(M) killing 3 people
Stephen Tompkinson has praised his “amazing” partner for her support during his court case after she was dealt her own tragedy when her mum and stepdad were killed in a horrific car crash.
The actor, 57, broke the shocking news during an interview on Lorraine while speaking for the first time about being found not guilty of attacking a drunk man outside the home he shares with partner Jessica Johnson.
While praising “amazing”’ actor Jess for her support during the whole ordeal, Stephen explained that she had suffered her own trauma.
Lorry driver Mr Ion Nicu Onut was driving a 3.5 tonne Scania LGV, when he ploughed into queueing traffic at Bowburn, County Durham, on July 15, 2021, instantly killing Jess’ mum Elaine Sullivan and stepdad David Daglish.
Onut had been trawling the internet on dating sites looking for casual sexual partners when he hit the stationary car belonging to Jess’ mum and stepdad.
The couple suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene along with Paul Mullen who was in another vehicle.
Speaking about the moment Jess found out about the crash, Mr Tompkinson said:: “We were both doing ‘Educating Rita’ at the time. It had been stopped because of Covid. Two days after that, Jess went, ‘No’… “She went into this incredible mode and a few weeks later attended the double funeral of her mum and stepdad and then was back on stage that night in Kingston.
“If you ever needed an example of strength and a shining light, she has been that throughout and has looked after me through this and I’ll never be able to thank her enough.”
Police later released the horrific footage of the crash which caused a “chain reaction” of collisions, and a “fireball”, to warn other motorists about the dangers of using your mobile phone behind the wheel.
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Onut was arrested and charged with three counts of causing death by dangerous driving. He pleaded guilty and was jailed for eight years and 10 months in January 2022. He was also banned from driving for 14 years.
Onut’s internet history showed he had been accessing “adult dating websites”, including “S**g Today” and “Mystic Match” when the accident happened.
His speed “never went below 50mph” as he was “engrossed in his internet activity” while “in pursuit of sexual gratification”.
Onut later apologised for the “devastation he caused”.
Following crash Elaine and David’s family paid tribute to the couple.
In a joint statement, they said: “Our world has been shattered into a million pieces.
“Elaine and Dave were incredibly kind-hearted, loving and supportive parents, grandparents, family members and friends.
“Their premature departure has left behind an irreparable hole in both our families and the local community; their kind and devoted selves will never be forgotten.”
Lorraine airs weekdays on ITV from 9am.
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