Following on from the tragic accident on the M1 on 26 August 2017, we now know that the two haulage drivers have been convicted and sentencing is due to take place on 23 March 2018.
David Wagstaff was on a hands free call when his lorry forced a mini bus under a stationary lorry in lane one. The driver of the other lorry, Ryszard Masierak, has been convicted of eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving. David Wagstaff was acquitted of causing death by dangerous driving, but his earlier pleas to eight counts of the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving remain.
The Senior Crown Prosecutor, Louise Atrill of the Crown Prosecution Service stated. “Both men showed flagrant disregard for the safety of other road users that morning, leaving five families mourning their loved ones”.
Masierak was twice over the drink/drive limit when he stopped his vehicle on the carriageway near Newport Pagnell. Just after 3:00am a mini bus being driven by Cyriac Joseph, carrying 11 tourists pulled up behind Mr Masierak’s vehicle with his hazard lights on. Mr Wagstaff’s lorry struck the back of the mini bus, causing it to be forced under the other lorry.
It is worth setting out the law in relation to death by dangerous driving, the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving and the offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, which Mr Wagstaff was cleared of, but which Mr Masierak has been found guilty of. An explanation of those offences and the legislation can be found here.
This case further highlights the fact that you can be convicted of offences other than using a hand held mobile phone if you are involved in a traffic accident, even when engaged in a hands free call.
If you require advice or assistance regarding mobile phone or other motoring offences, please contact a member of our Crime and Regulatory team.