A DUDLEY trucker who caused devastating injuries to a father-of-two after ploughing into the back of a car on the M6 has been jailed.

Andrew Hallbrook failed to slow down as he approached the tailback and crashed his HGV into the back of Martin Brannigan’s Vauxhall Insignia.

The car was pushed under the trailer of a flatbed lorry in front with such force that the lorry hit another car and forced it into a fifth vehicle.

The horrific pile-up, which happened between junctions 3 and 2 of the M6 southbound in March, left Mr Brannigan paralysed from the shoulders down, Warwick Crown Court was told.

Hallbrook, of Donnington Court, had pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

The 45-year-old, who was working for an agency and had not driven that HGV before, claimed he was momentarily blinded by the sun and was reaching for the sun visor when he suddenly realising the vehicles ahead had braked – but that was not supported by the other truck driver or the accident investigator.

Prosecutor Adam Western said that according to collision expert Dean Spencer, Hallbrook was doing 55mph as he approached the queue, and only braked 12 metres before the point of impact at 49mph.

Mr Brannigan, a 56-year-old engineer, said: “My injuries mean I will never walk again, which is devastating to me and to my family.”

His wife, Julie, added: “Every ounce of his dignity is taken away. As his wife, emotionally it has destroyed me. What I will miss most from my husband is a hug, a kiss and a cuddle. This breaks my heart.”

Earl Pinnock, defending, told the court that Hallbrook, who has two children and a step-daughter, is "held in high esteem," and spent 25 years as a care worker, as well as being a foster carer for many years.

As she jailed Hallbrook for two-and-a-half-years and banned him from driving for three, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano said: “Traffic was slowing down as a queue formed for a junction, and there were warning on overhead gantries for a mile-and-a-half, as well as cars in front slowing down, with brake lights going on.

“But you, for whatever reason, failed to notice either those warning signs or the slowing of the cars in front until right at the last moment, as a result of which you were unable to reduce your speed by more than 6mph before impact.

“I don’t accept for a minute that this was momentary inadvertence."

She added: “I accept you are very, very remorseful for what happened.

“But nothing I can do today, and nothing you can ever do, can restore this grieving family’s happiness. He didn’t die, but he will never again have the life he recognised."