Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Selby crash driver blames 'fate'

The scene of the rail crash at Great Heck near Selby on February 28, 2001
The scene of the rail crash at Great Heck near Selby on February 28, 2001
Gary Hart described the 2001 Selby rail crash as 'fate'
An aerial view of the scene of the rail crash at Great Heck near Selby, North Yorkshire

The driver who caused the Selby rail crash has said it was "fate" that 10 people died.

Gary Hart spoke out on the 10th anniversary of the tragedy which happened when his Land Rover plunged off the M62 motorway on to the East Coast mainline in North Yorkshire in 2001.

"I believe in fate and I was meant to be there that morning," he told Real Radio. "The accident occurred because I was there. The same for the people that were on the train. They were meant to be there that morning."

Hart served 30 months of a five-year jail term after being convicted of 10 charges of causing death by dangerous driving. The trial heard he fell asleep at the wheel after staying up all night chatting on the phone to a woman he met on the internet.

But in his first in-depth interview since the crash, the 47-year-old denied he should have been held responsible for the deaths of six passengers and four rail workers: "No deaths occurred at the point of impact with my Land Rover. They all occurred 700 yards down the track which I feel other people should have been held accountable for, so in my own head I've dealt with it in that fashion."

Meanwhile, the sons of a train driver killed in the Selby rail crash have paid tribute to their father on the 10th anniversary of the disaster. Steve Dunn, 39, had "died doing the job he considered a paid hobby", said his sons Andrew, now 22, and James, 19.

Speaking ahead of a memorial service to mark the anniversary, the Dunn family said both boys are working full time and are happy and they thanked "everyone who has helped us through the past decade", including British Transport Police and rail companies.

Mr Dunn was the driver of a Freightliner freight train which struck a partly-derailed Great North Eastern Railway (GNER) train on the East Coast Main Line at Great Heck, near Selby.

The London-bound GNER train, whose driver John Weddle was also killed, had first struck a Land Rover which had careered off the M62 and crashed on to the track.

The memorial service, which is due to be attended by relatives, survivors and rail staff, is at St Paul's Church in Hensall, near Selby.

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