THE families of three people who were killed in a collision caused by a lorry driver who was on his phone when he crashed into them on the A303 have paid tribute to their loved ones. 

Michal Kopaniarz was today sentenced to 12 years in prison for killing Alexandra Britton, 28, Tina Ince, 58, and Thomas Watson, 30, in a devastating collision on the westbound carriageway of the A303 at Picket Twenty, Andover, on August 25, 2021.

He previously pleaded guilty to three counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of perverting the course of justice.

Following his sentencing hearing at Winchester Crown Court, the victim's families have released tributes to their loved ones. 

READ MORE: Lorry driver distracted by LADbible video jailed for killing three in A303 crash

Paying tribute to Tom, the Watson family said: "On the 25th August 2021, all our lives changed forever following the actions of Michal Kopaniarz.

"Losing Tom in the way we did was shocking and devastating for all our family. Words seem so useless when trying to explain the extent of our loss. We are a small family and Tom was a special part of it, his absence is felt very deeply.

"We are now left trying to adjust our lives without him by our sides, but we know we must try to carry on and support each other through this.

"We would like to thank everyone for their support as we continue our journey of grieving our Tom.

"We will respect the court's decision but no sentence will ever compensate us for Tom's life. We all now must try and move forward knowing that we have a lifetime ahead of us without Tom."

The Britton family added: "Alex was a beautiful person, both inside and out.

"She was kind and thoughtful, sensitive but strong and had a wicked sense of humour. She would do anything for anyone and was amazingly caring. It is fair to say that everyone needs a friend like Alex in their lives.

"She was an amazing mummy to her two young daughters, aged just three years and 17 months when she was taken away from them. Alex was a big family person with a heart of gold and absolutely adored her girls. They were her life and she would do anything and everything for them.

"Alex's passing has left a massive hole in all of our hearts and we have all lost our much loved mummy, daughter, fiancée, sister, auntie and friend. A deep sense of loss is always with us and it is hard to imagine life without Alex.

"Our heartfelt sympathies go to the families of Tina and Tom who stopped to help Alex and who also lost their lives. No words will ever be enough.

"This is a serious message to all those who think driving and being on a mobile phone is okay. Whether in a car, van or HGV, the consequences can be catastrophic."

SEE ALSO: RECAP: Lorry driver sentenced for killing three motorists in A303 crash

Tina Ince's daughter Melissa said: "It has been an extremely long, and difficult, process to get to this stage.

"No court sentence will ever be enough to make up for the loss of my mum and the other loved ones who died that day. However, I am relieved that justice has been served and the person responsible for this tragedy has finally been held accountable for his actions."