Two lorry drivers went on trial today over one of Britain’s worst motorway crashes in which eight people died.
Polish national Ryszard Masierak, 32, and Briton David Wagstaff, 53, are appearing at Reading Crown Court accused of causing the collision on August 26 last year.
Minibus driver Cyriac Joseph and seven of his Indian passengers were killed on the M1 southbound near Milton Keynes as they travelled to London from Nottingham.
Ryszard Masierak (left, in a previous court sketch) and David Wagstaff (right, pictured today outside Reading Crown Court in Berkshire) are accused of causing the collision last year
Ancy Joseph, widow of Cyriac Joseph, accompanied by Matthew John, a spokesman for the family and Ancy’s cousin, arrive at Reading Crown Court this morning
The crash happened on the M1 southbound near Milton Keynes on August 26 last year
Karthikeyan Pugalur Ramasubramanian, 33, and wife Lavanyalakshmi Seetharaman, 32, who were from Alwarthirunagar in Chennai, were one of the couples who died.
Subramaniyan Arachelvan, 58, and his wife Tamilmani Arachelvan, 50, from the Saket area of Dehli, were another couple who lost their lives in the collision.
Also killed were Panneerselvam Annamalai, 63, of Nagar, Chennai, Vivek Baskaran, 26, from Avaiyambalpuram, Mayiladuthurai, and Rishi Rajeev Kumar, 27, from Kerala.
The minibus driver and owner of Nottingham-based ABC Travels, Cyriac Joseph, 52, from Nottingham, was the only person killed in the crash with a British address.
Karthikeyan Pugalur Ramasubramanian (left), 33, and wife Lavanyalakshmi Seetharaman (right), 32, who were from Alwarthirunagar in Chennai, were one of the couples who died
Vivek Baskaran (left), 26, from Avaiyambalpuram, Mayiladuthurai, also died in the crash along with the minibus driver Cyriac Joseph (right), 52, the owner of Nottingham-based ABC Travels
Four other people were seriously hurt. Masierak, of Evesham, Worcestershire, and Wagstaff, of Stoke, both deny eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Wagstaff previously pleaded guilty to eight lesser charges of causing death by careless driving and four counts of careless driving.
The Road Traffic Act 1988 defines causing death by dangerous driving as ‘a person who causes the death of another person by driving a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place’.
The same act lists causing death by careless driving as ‘a person who causes the death of another person by driving a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place’.
More to follow
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