Eight victims of M1 horror crash named at inquest opening

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All eight victims killed in a crash on the M1 have been named during a hearing to open the inquests into their deaths.

The six men and two women were travelling from Nottingham for a dream holiday in France when the minibus they were travelling in was involved in the horrific collision with two lorries near Newton Pagnell in Buckinghamshire at 3.15am on the morning of Saturday August 26.

Four people were taken to hospital and the remaining eight in the minibus died.

During a hearing at The Crownhill Crematorium in Milton Keynes, the city's senior coroner Tom Osborne formally opened the inquests and released the bodies to their families.

Those who died were named as Cyriac Joseph, 52, a father-of-two, who was the minibus driver and owner who lived in Nottingham. He ran ABC Travels, based out of Linby Close, near Nottingham's City Hospital.

Panneerselvam Annamalai, 63, Subramaniyan Arachelvan, 58, Tamilmani Arachelvan, 50 and Lavanyalakshmi Seetharaman, 32 also died in the smash.

A memorial service was held to mark Cyriac Joseph's life

A memorial service was held to mark Cyriac Joseph's life

Three IT workers, who were employed by Wipro and working as contractors at Capital One in Nottingham, also died in the collision. They were named as Rishi Rajeev Kumar, 27, Vivek Bhaskaran, 26, Karthikeyan Pugalur Ramasubramanian, 33.

The victims were Catholics from the Malayali community from Kerala in southern India.

Four other people who were in the minibus remain in hospital., including Mano Ranjan Panneerselvam who was named during the inquest as having been critically injured in the collision.

A four-year-old girl, a woman in her 30s and a woman in her 50s remain in a serious but stable condition.

The group was heading from Nottingham to London when the crash happened on the southbound carriageway close to junction 14 at Newport Pagnell.

During today's hearing, coroner's officer Frederick Howe said the cause of death of all the victims was given as multiple injuries. They were identified by their fingerprints.

The coroner said: "I have signed the mortuary release forms for the bodies to be repatriated to India.

"The inquest is suspended until proceedings in crown court are concluded."

He added: "I would like to thank all those involved in recovering and identifying the dead who worked tirelessly to return them to families as soon as possible.

"My condolences and sympathy to the families for this tragic accident."

Lorry driver, Ryszard Masierak, 31, appeared in court on August 28 to face eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving, four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and eight counts of causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed alcohol limit.

Masierak, of Evesham, Worcestershire, made no application for bail and did not indicate how he would plead to the charges.

He was remanded in custody to appear next at Aylesbury Crown Court on September 26.

The other lorry driver, David Wagstaff, 53, of Derwent Street, Stoke-on-Trent, has been charged with eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He is due to appear at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court on Monday, September 11.

Outside the coroner's court today, Mathew John, Mr Joseph's cousin, said: "It has been tragic for the family. A memorial mass is being prepared for Friday or Saturday. The plan is to repatriate the bodies at the end of the week or early next week."