Lorry driver Ryszard Masierak guilty over fatal M1 crash

Lorry driver Ryszard Masierak guilty over fatal M1 crash
Scene after M1 crash
Image caption Two lorries and a minibus were involved in the crash on the M1 last August

A lorry driver has been convicted of causing the deaths of eight people in a crash on the M1.

Ryszard Masierak, 31, was two times over the drink-drive limit and had stopped in the inside lane when he was involved in the crash with a minibus and another lorry near Newport Pagnell.

He was found guilty of eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

The jury at Reading Crown Court is still deliberating charges against the other lorry driver, David Wagstaff.

Masierak was also convicted of four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Wagstaff, 54, who had been on a hands-free call at the time of the crash, last August, denies the same charges.

The trial heard Masierak’s vehicle was stopped in the carriageway for about 12 minutes – an act described by prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC as “as flagrant as it was dangerous”.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Ryszard Masierak stopped in the inside lane of the M1 at about 02:57 26 August

The eight people killed were all travelling in the minibus, which was carrying 11 Indian tourists from Nottingham to London ahead of a trip to Disneyland Paris.

The six men and two women were driver Cyriac Joseph, Panneerselvam Annamalai, Rishi Ranjeev Kumar, Vivek Baskaran, Lavanyalakshmi Seetharaman, Karthikeyan Pugalur Ramasubramanian, Subramaniyan Arachelvan and Tamilmani Arachelvan.

Four other passengers – including a four-year-old girl orphaned by the crash – spent weeks in hospital afterwards.

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