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  1. ITV Report

M6 lorry driver denies five counts of causing death by dangerous driving

Five people were killed in the crash on the M6 motorway in May 2017. Credit: ITV News

A lorry driver has denied five counts of causing death by dangerous driving after a crash on the M6 motorway.

Polish national Zbigniew Grzabel also pleaded not guilty to a charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, following a collision involving a truck and Nissan Micra M6 near Stafford on 24th May 2017.

The 61-year-old, from Tipton, entered pleas at Stafford Crown Court. He will stand trial in June.

Grzabel, wearing a dark suit and cost, appeared in the dock and followed proceedings with the help of a Polish interpreter.

Zbigniew Grzabel has pleaded not guilty to five counts of causing death by dangerous driving following the crash. Credit: ITV News

Four women and a man, all Romanian nationals, died in the crash on the southbound carriageway between junction 15 and junction 14, in the early hours.

Among the victims were driver 45-year-old Marius Zevian, 45, and Cucoana Zevian, who was 49.

Also killed were 56-year-old Gheorghita Radu, 42-year-old Nicoleta-Marinela Florea, and 34-year-old Marcela Sandu, 34.

They had been travelling from Stoke-on-Trent in a Nissan Micra when the crash happened.

A 37-year-old male front seat passenger who was also in the Micra survived despite multiple injuries.

Zbigniew Grzabel has pleaded not guilty to five counts of causing death by dangerous driving following the crash. Credit: ITV News

Setting a trial date, judge Martin Butterworth told Grzabel, who appeared on unconditional bail:

Your trial is going to be on June 18th. You have obligations before then, in particular to provide a defence statement, before March 21st.

You must attend your trial and if you do not you will have committed a criminal offence and you may be tried in your absence.

I renew your bail on the same terms as before.