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M1 crash deaths: Lorry drivers in court

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Two lorry drivers have denied a string of charges following a crash on the M1 that left eight people dead.Six men and two women died in the crash involving two lorries and a minibus near Newport Pagnell on 26 August.Ryszard Masierak, 31, of Evesham, Worcestershire, and David Wagstaff, 53, of Stoke-on-Trent, each deny eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving.A trial has been set for 26 February at Aylesbury Crown Court.Mr Masierak was remanded in custody, while Mr Wagstaff was given bail.

Four minibus passengers were also seriously hurt in the crash on the southbound carriageway. Both defendants denied four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.Mr Wagstaff pleaded guilty to eight counts of death by careless driving, and to careless driving.Peter Shaw, prosecuting, said these pleas were not accepted by the Crown. He called for Mr Wagstaff to stand trial on the more serious charge of death by dangerous driving. The eight people who died were part of a group of Catholics from Nottingham’s Malayali community, originating from Kerala in southern India.They were on their way to catch the Eurostar to France when the crash happened.

The minibus was being driven from Nottingham to London by Cyriac Joseph, 52, a father-of-two, who died in the crash.The other victims were Tamilmani Arachelvan, 50; Lavanyalakshmi Seetharaman, 32; Panneerselvam Annamalai, 63; Subramaniyan Arachelvan, 58; Rishi Rajeev Kumar, 27; Vivek Bhaskaran, 26; and Karthikeyan Pugalur Ramasubramanian, 33.Mano Ranjan Panneerselvam, an IT worker with Nottingham-based company Wipro, was critically injured. A five-year-old girl, a woman in her 30s and a woman in her 50s were also hurt.
Source: BBC Beds