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Lorry Driver Robert Booth Admits Causing Death Of Priyanka Bhogal, Aged Four, In M6 Motorway Crash

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ROBERT BOOTH
Booth told he should expect a prison sentence "measured in years" | PA

A lorry driver who smashed into a line of slow-moving motorway traffic, killing a four-year-old girl, has pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

Robert Booth, 64, was warned to expect a jail sentence "measured in years" after changing his plea to guilty on the second day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court.

Booth, of Brockley Street, Town End Farm, Sunderland, had previously denied causing the death of Priyanka Bhogal, whose parents' Vauxhall Zafira was "punted" into a concrete barrier beside the M6.

Several other cars were also damaged in the accident near Coleshill, Warwickshire, in the early hours of November 27 2011.

Priyanka, from Coventry, suffered a fatal head injury when Booth's heavy goods vehicle ploughed into the Zafira, which had slowed down with its hazard lights flashing due to a build-up of traffic.

priyanka bhogal

Priyanka was killed on her way home from a family party



Booth's trial heard that he was driving at 55mph moments before the crash despite "obvious" overhead gantry signs warning of a problem ahead.

Signs were also in place reducing the speed limit to 40mph at the time of the accident near junction 4 of the M6.

Granting Booth bail until sentence is passed on February 25, Judge Sylvia De Bertodano told the haulier: "You have made a decision which I think everyone, probably including yourself, is very relieved you have made at this stage.

"Please don't be under any illusions.

"I am releasing you on bail but it will inevitably be a sentence of custody and it will inevitably be measured in years."

Booth's trial heard that Priyanka was travelling in the rear-most nearside seat of the Zafira, being driven by her mother, Baljit, from a family party in Walsall to their home.

The fatal impact occurred at around 12.25am, shortly after Mrs Bhogal switched on her hazard lights because of the tailback ahead.

Booth had submitted that he night have fallen asleep due to obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome, rather than tiredness, in the run-up to the crash.

But the haulier, who is of previous good character, admitted his guilt after the judge granted him time to discuss the case with his barrister.