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Lorry drivers to be sentenced for crash that killed eight people

Lorry drivers Ryszard Masierak and David Wagstaff face sentencing for an M1 smash that killed eight people.

Two lorry drivers are due to be sentenced on Friday for causing a pile-up that killed eight people in a minibus.

Ryszard Masierak, 31, and Fed Ex Driver David Wagstaff, 54, caused the collision on the M1 in the early hours of August 26 last year.

A minibus driven by Cyriac Joseph was crushed between their two vehicles when Masierak came to a complete stop in the slow lane while twice the legal limit.

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Lorry driver Ryszard Masierak was found guilty of eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving (Thames Valley Police/PA)

Wagstaff had his vehicle on cruise control and was chatting on his handsfree set when he ploughed into the back of the minibus at 56mph, forcing it under Masierak’s lorry near Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.

Six men and two women including Mr Joseph were killed in the smash, while four others including a four-year-old girl were seriously injured.

The remaining five deceased were named as Panneerselvam Annamalai, Rishi Ranjeev Kumar, Vivek Baskaran, Lavanyalakshmi Seetharaman, Karthikeyan Pugalur Ramasubramanian, Subramaniyan Arachelvan and Tamilmani Arachelvan.

They had been on their way from Nottingham to London to catch a coach to Disneyland.

Polish national Masierak, of Evesham, Worcestershire, had been stationary in the slow line for more than 12 minutes, despite miles of hard shoulder being available to him.

At trial, it emerged he did not have a professional licence after it was revoked by the authorities.

Maseriak was convicted of eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving after trial at Reading Crown Court.

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David Wagstaff admitted eight counts of causing death by careless driving and four counts of careless driving (Steve Parsons/PA)

Wagstaff would have had the obstruction ahead in his sight for nine seconds but did not brake or try to turn the wheel before the crash.

Wagstaff, from Stoke, admitted eight counts of causing death by careless driving and four counts of careless driving, but was cleared of more serious charges of causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving.

The pair are due to be sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court at 2pm.

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