THIS shocking video shows the moment a lorry driver crashed into the back of a prison van while distracted by his mobile phone.

Derek Holland was being filmed by cameras fitted inside his own vehicle when he smashed into the van on the A27, seriously injuring three people.

Police watched the footage from his journey and discovered 42 separate incidents of bad driving before the collision near Lewes.

He was seen taking both hands off the wheel to peel a banana during the four-hour journey, which culminated in a horror smash.

Holland has now been jailed for three-and-a-half years and banned from driving for almost five years.

Judge David Rennie told him: “You had no consideration for public safety or for the law.

"Very clearly, there was nobody else to blame other than yourself for causing this collision.

"When someone drives with their hands off the wheel, using a mobile phone, driving while using their elbows and eating at the same time, it is a continuation of dangerous driving, and this case included some 42 incidents.”

The Argus: Derek Holland was being filmed by cameras fitted inside his own vehicleDerek Holland was being filmed by cameras fitted inside his own vehicle

Video footage from two cameras showed that Holland was persistently distracted by his mobile phone in the hours before the crash in 2020.

Holland was not wearing a seatbelt during the journey - instead inserting a replica buckle into the socket to stop the alarm from activating.

He only put his actual seatbelt on when he pulled up behind a police car at a set of traffic lights - but as soon as the vehicle was out of sight, he removed the belt again.

At about 10.55am on August 10, Holland hit a security van which had broken down in lane one of the westbound dual carriageway.

The three people inside - the driver, a prison escort and an inmate - were all injured in the collision.

Holland was arrested and, while being invited by police, admitted his behaviour had been "atrocious".

He was charged with one count of dangerous driving, and three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Holland pleaded guilty to all four charges and appeared for sentencing at Hove Crown Court on Tuesday, July 27.

Judge Rennie said he had showed remorse and was “clearly ashamed” by his “appalling” manner of driving.

He told Holland, of Sutton Avenue, Seaford, that he had been given credit for an early guilty plea.

Holland was jailed and disqualified from driving for 57 months.

He must take an extended test before he can drive again.

The Argus: The crashed closed both carriageways of the A27The crashed closed both carriageways of the A27

Detective Sergeant Rob Baldwin, of Sussex Police serious collision investigations unit, said: “It was fortunate that the company had installed cameras on their lorry, which allowed us to examine the driver's actions. The company fully co-operated with our investigation.

“We reviewed the video footage from just the morning of the collision, and found 42 separate incidents of very poor driving.

"These were mostly where Holland was interacting with his mobile telephone, but also where he had taken his hands off of the steering wheel to eat, and was not in proper control of his vehicle.

“This is the worst case of prolonged distracted driving that I have seen.

"This was very much aggravated by the fact that Holland had responsibility for driving a large goods vehicle, and he would have been well aware of the risks he was taking.

"He showed a complete disregard for the safety of other road users.

“We strongly advise drivers not to engage with any activity that distracts them from the driving task – this could still lead to an offence of not being in proper control of a vehicle.

"Even if a device is not being held in the hand, distracted driving can lead to devastating consequences and will likely result in a prosecution for dangerous or careless driving, as this case demonstrates.”