M1 crash: Driver cleared of dangerous driving

Lorry driver David Wagstaff has been found not guilty of causing death by dangerous driving following a crash on the M1 that killed eight people.

The 54-year-old, from Stoke, had already pleaded guilty to eight charges of causing death by careless driving and four counts of careless driving.

Another lorry driver, Polish national Ryszard Masierak, 31, was found guilty on Tuesday of eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The crash involving two lorries and a minibus happened on the M1 near Milton Keynes in the early hours of 26 August last year.

Minibus driver Cyriac Joseph, 52, and seven of his passengers were killed, while another four passengers were seriously hurt.

Mr Joseph’s widow was in court to hear the verdicts at Reading Crown Court on Wednesday.

Wagstaff, an HGV driver for 12 years with a clean licence until the crash, put his head in his hands following the jury’s decision.

Judge Francis Sheridan described the case as “very emotional and heartbreaking”.

Judge Sheridan praised the families of the deceased for their behaviour throughout the trial.

He said: “I pay tribute to their constant dignity in a dreadful case with very sad, tragic consequences.”

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Wagstaff, who has been released on bail, and Masierak will be sentenced on March 23 at Aylesbury Crown Court.

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