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Two lorry drivers sentenced after M1 crash that killed eight people

David Wagstaff and Ryszard Masierak were both involved in a fatal motorway collision Credit: PA, Thames Valley Police

Two lorry drivers have been sentenced after a fatal motorway crash that killed eight people.

Ryszard Masierak, from Evesham in Worcestershire, is one of two HGV drivers who was involved in the M1 pile-up on August 26 last year.

The 31-year-old was sentenced to 14 years after being found guilty of eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing injury by dangerous driving.

The Polish national denied being drunk, but a breathalyser test showed he was 'likely to have been in the region of twice the legal limit' at the time of the crash, the court heard.

The second lorry driver, David Wagstaff from Stoke-on-Trent, was cleared of causing death by dangerous driving but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.

The 54-year-old was sentenced to 40 months.

David Wagstaff pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving. Credit: PA

Fed Ex driver Wagstaff had been on a hands-free call and was driving on cruise control when he crashed into a minibus driven by Cyriac Joseph.

The minibus had its hazard lights on and was waiting behind Masierak's stationary lorry when Wagstaff hit them at 56mph.

It forced the minibus - which was from Nottingham-based ABC Travels - under Masierak’s lorry.

Ryszard Masierak was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. Credit: Thames Valley Police

Masierak had been stationary in the slow lane for 12 minutes. He was over the limit, asleep and should not have been behind the wheel, as his HGV licence was revoked just a month earlier.

Wagstaff had been a HGV driver for 12 years with a clean licence, he put the collision down to a "lack of concentration".

Cyriac Joseph had been driving his minibus passengers from Nottingham to London. They were heading on a dream holiday to Disneyland in France.

Eight people died in the pile-up. They were:

  • Cyriac Joseph, 52
  • Karthikeyan Pugalur Ramasubramaniam, 33
  • Rishi Ranjeev Kumar, 27
  • Vivek Baskaran, 26
  • Panneerselvam Annamalai, 63
  • Subramaniyan Arachelvan, 58
  • Lavanyalakshmi Seetharaman, 33
  • Tamilmani Arachelvan, 50
Two lorries and a minibus were involved in the crash on the M1 last August Credit: ITV News Anglia

Four other passengers - including a four-year-old girl - were seriously injured in the crash, which happened near Newton Pagnell in Buckinghamshire.

Paying tribute to their father, Mr Joseph’s children - Benson and Benita Cyriac - said:

He was kind-hearted, loving, caring, helpful.

He was someone you could rely on. He was always on the phone helping someone out.

He loved taking photos and cameras. He always wanted family pictures of everyone on holidays. He was a very family orientated man.

– Benson and Benita Cyriac