Monday 16 July 2018

Eight dead, three fighting for life after minibus crash - two charged

Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @ItsOllieYT of the scene where eight people have died after a motorway crash involving two lorries and a minibus on the southbound carriageway of the M1: @ItsOllieYT/PA Wire
Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @ItsOllieYT of the scene where eight people have died after a motorway crash involving two lorries and a minibus on the southbound carriageway of the M1: @ItsOllieYT/PA Wire

Nina Massey

Two men have been charged in connection with the English M1 crash in which eight people were killed.

Ryszard Masierak, 31, of Evesham, Worcestershire, is accused of 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.

He has been remanded in custody to appear at High Wycombe Magistrates' Court on Monday.

David Wagstaff, 53, of Derwent Street, Stoke-on-Trent, is charged with eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was bailed to appear at Milton Keynes Magistrates' Court on September 11.

Three passengers, including a five-year-old girl, are fighting for their lives after the crash on Saturday involving two lorries and the minibus they were travelling in.

The men charged are believed to have been the lorry drivers.

Six men and two women died when the three vehicles collided shortly before 3.15am on the southbound carriageway of the motorway near Newport Pagnell, between junctions 15 and 14.

A man and woman were taken to hospital alongside the young girl, all with life-threatening injuries, Thames Valley Police said.

A fourth person was admitted to hospital with less severe injuries.

Some of those on the minibus, which carried the branding for ABC Travels, run by Cyriac Joseph, based in Nottingham, were visiting the UK from India.

Soyimon Joseph paid tribute to his friend Cyriac, also known as Benny, saying he had seen him the night before the crash.

In a Facebook post he wrote: "Hearty condolences. I never thought yesterday 10 pm you say thank you to me it was our last meeting."

He added: "My dearest friend Benny passed away this morning after a huge road accident happened in M1 in London."

The minibus had been taking a group of people from Nottingham to Wembley in the north west of the capital, Mr Joseph said.

He described the crash as "devastating", saying the father of two had been married to his wife Ancy for two decades.

He told the Sunday Mirror: "It is devastating. He and Ancy celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary last year. Benny is the perfect driver."

A passer-by who stopped his journey home to help assist a young girl trapped in the minibus said he had given his jacket to the child to keep her warm.

Brett Smith, from Newport Pagnell, streamed a live video of himself on to Facebook, minutes after leaving the scene of the crash.

He said: "There's been a severe accident where a family has been destroyed, and I held a little girl by her arms, trapped inside a vehicle for a good hour or so with the emergency services, the fire service, trying to help get her out."

Pictures of the vehicles appeared to show a FedEx lorry with its cab crushed and the cab of an AIM Logistics lorry twisted around to the side.

Another image showed what appeared to be the crumpled wreckage of the minibus on the back of a flatbed truck.

Broken glass and debris from the collision was scattered across the tarmac.

Spokesmen for AIM Logistics and FedEx expressed sympathies to those who lost loved ones in the crash, and said the companies were assisting police with their inquiries.

Press Association

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