Lorry drivers accused of killing eight people in M1 bank holiday 'horror crash' stand trial

Two lorry drivers have appeared in court charged with causing the death of eight people.
Two lorry drivers have appeared in court charged with causing the death of eight people.

Two lorry drivers accused of killing eight people on the M1 near Northampton in one of the UK's worst motorway death crashes went on trial today.

Both truckers entered not guilty pleas to a series of charges which accused them of killing eight people in a minibus by dangerous driving.

One of the drivers, aged 31 years and from Poland, also faces trial on eight counts of causing death by careless driving whilst over the prescribed alcohol limit and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The full horror of the Bank Holiday pile-up is due to be revealed to a jury as Crown prosecutors open the cases against Ryszard Mariesak and David Wagstaff.

Six men and two women were killed in the collision on the southbound carriageway of the M1 near Newport Pagnell between junctions 15 and 14, when the minibus they were travelling in was virtually flattened in the crash.

The Ford transit minibus carrying the eight victims was travelling southbound along the motorway from Nottingham to London on August 26.

Karthikeyan Pugalur Ramasubramanian, aged 33 years and wife Lavanyalakshmi Seetharaman, aged 32 years, who were from the Alwarthirunagar area of Chennai, India were one couple to die in the crash.

Subramaniyan Arachelvan, aged 58 years, and his wife Tamilmani Arachelvan, aged 50 years, from the Saket area of Dehli, India were another couple who lost their lives.

Also killed were 63-year-old Panneerselvam Annamalai, 26-year-old Vivek Baskaran, and 27-year-old Rishi Rajeev Kumar. All were from India.

The minibus driver and owner of Nottingham-based ABC Travels, Cyriac Joseph, aged 52, was the only person killed in the crash with a British address.

Polish-born Ryszard Masierak, of Evesham, Worcs., aged 32, is charged with a total of 20 counts relating to the collision, including 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 limit.

David Wagstaff, 54, from Stoke-on-Trent, ​is also charged with eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The trial continues.