Watch: Portsmouth family pleads for people not to use phones while driving after mum killed by lorry driver 

A Portsmouth family has pleaded with people not to use their phone while driving after a young mum was among three people who were tragically killed by a lorry driver. 
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Alex BrittonAlex Britton
Alex Britton

Alex Britton, Tina Ince and Tom Watson were killed in a catastrophic incident on the A303 near Andover on 25 August 2021. Lorry driver Michal Kopaniarz, of Park Road, Donnington, Shropshire, was jailed for 12 years in February 2023 after pleading guilty at Winchester Crown Court to three charges of causing death by dangerous driving.

The tragedy happened after Alex’s car broke down on the westbound carriageway that day. Tina and Tom both stopped to offer her assistance. But Kopaniarz, who was watching videos and typing in his destination on his phone, did not see the three cars stopped ahead of him and crashed into them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Now Alex’s family have come forward to plead with motorists to put their phone away while driving, as police launch a month of action against drivers committing ‘Fatal Four’ offences.

The Fatal Four are the four main causes of deaths on our roads. They are impairment from drink or drugs, distraction including mobile phones, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.

Roads policing officers will be out in force with increased patrols across Hampshire and Isle of Wight for the whole month of April, as part of a national campaign to target motorists who are committing these offences.

Aaron Law, Alex’s fiancée and father to her two young children, said: “One of the most devastating things I’ve ever done is break the news to my, at the time, three year old daughter that her mummy wasn’t coming back home.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Being only three we thought she would find it hard to understand, but instantly she grasped what was going on and she broke down in tears.

“I never planned to raise two children by myself. We planned to do it as a family. I now struggle every day with simple tasks. There’s just certain things that I can’t teach them, that mummy would have taught them.”

Ian Britton, Alex’s father, said: “She’s always in our thoughts, we have times when we’ll sit here and think about some of the good times we had, and then also think about the day.

“I’ve now had to get counselling to deal with the grief, no one should ever have to bury their children before them.”

Michal Antoni Kopaniarz who killed three people in a devastating crash on the A303 near Andover and has been jailed for 12 years.
Michal Antoni Kopaniarz who killed three people in a devastating crash on the A303 near Andover and has been jailed for 12 years.
Michal Antoni Kopaniarz who killed three people in a devastating crash on the A303 near Andover and has been jailed for 12 years.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Avril Swain, Alex’s mother, said: “When I actually found out that he had been on his phone… unimaginable, actually, that somebody in charge of that huge lorry would take his eyes off the road to look at his phone.

“Since the day of this incident, our lives have changed forever. There’s no turning back from it. It was catastrophic.

“If anybody is thinking about even peeking at their phone whilst driving, just don’t. Whatever it is, it can wait until the end of your journey or, if it is some emergency, pull over.

“Please don’t drive whilst being on your phone.”

Detective Constable Mark Furse, who was the Family Liaison Officer for Alex’s relatives, said: “This was a terrible incident where three people lost their lives because of one man’s selfish actions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Using your mobile phone is a huge distraction when driving but sadly we still see people doing this every day.

“Nothing is so important that it justifies using your phone while driving and there’s just no excuse for it.

“If you choose to use your mobile phone when you’re driving and it goes wrong, you will get caught and you will go to prison.”

For more road safety advice visit Road safety | Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary

Related topics: