Two lorry drivers deny causing death by dangerous driving in M1 minibus crash

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

Two lorry drivers today (Friday, October 27) denied causing death by dangerous driving in the worst UK motorway crash in 24 years.

Ryszard Masierak, a 31-year-old Pole, and David Wagstaff, aged 53, are accused of causing the deaths of eight people, who were travelling in a minibus from Nottingham to London.

The incident - near Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire - happened at around 3.15am on Saturday, August 26.

Eight people on the minibus died and four others injured. The group were Catholics from the Malayali community from Kerala in southern India and were travelling to London..

Those who died have been named as Cyriac Joseph, 52, a father-of-two, who was the minibus driver and owner who lived in Sherwood, Nottingham.

Cyriac Joseph

Cyriac Joseph

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

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.

Their colleague Mano Ranjan Panneerselvam was named as a man who was critically injured. Also injured were a four year old girl, a woman in her 30s and a woman in her 50s.

Today at Aylesbury crown court Masierak, of Barnards Close, Evesham, Worcestershire pleaded not guilty to causing the death of the eight people by dangerous driving.

In addition he denied four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

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His barrister said that he will admit driving while over the drink limit.

He has a wife and child in Poland and was aided in court by a Polish interpreter.

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

Mr Wagstaff admitted causing death by careless driving of the eight people and pleaded guilty to careless driving in relation to the four injured people, but those pleas were not accepted by the prosecution.

Prosecutor Peter Shaw said the crown will continue the case against Mr Wagstaff for causing death by dangerous driving.

Judge Francis Sheridan set a date for trial for February 26 next year at Aylesbury crown court. It is expected to last for two weeks.

He remanded Ryszard Masierak in custody and granted bail to David Wagstaff.

The judge made an interim driving ban against Mr Wagstaff.