A lorry driver accused of causing the deaths of eight people on the M1 while over the drink drive limit has appeared in court.
Polish trucker Ryszard Masierak’s Scania allegedly came to a halt in the southbound slow lane of the M1 in Buckinghamshire before the accident early on Saturday.
Minibus driver Cyriac Joseph, who was taking a party of Indian tourists to London, is believed to have collided with a second lorry as he attempted to avoid Masierak’s vehicle.
He died along with five other men and two women.
Masierak, 31, wiped away tears as he appeared at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
With short, cropped brown hair and stubble, and wearing a grey custody tracksuit, he listened intently to proceedings via a Polish interpreter as the charges were read out.
He faces 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.
Three minibus passengers, including a five-year-old girl, were left fighting for their lives, and a fourth suffered minor injuries in the crash near Newport Pagnell.
The court heard that Masierak, of Evesham, Worcestershire, is accused of having 55mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal driving limit is 35mg.
He made no application for bail and did not indicate how he would plead to the charges.
He was remanded in custody to appear next at Aylesbury Crown Court on September 26.
Speaking outside court, Chief Inspector Henry Parsons, from Thames Valley Police, said: “Four people who were injured remain in a serious condition in hospital.
“We have had full co-operation from the two freight companies involved and they are fully supporting us with our investigation.”
The other lorry driver, David Wagstaff, 53, from Stoke-on-Trent, has also been charged in connection with the crash.
He is accused of eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Wagstaff is due to appear at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court on September 11.