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Truck drivers deny causing road crash deaths of 8 Indians in UK

Posted at: Oct 27, 2017, 8:52 PM; last updated: Oct 27, 2017, 9:14 PM (IST)

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Truck drivers deny causing road crash deaths of 8 Indians in UK
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London, October 27

Two truck drivers charged with causing the deaths of eight Indians due to dangerous driving on a UK highway in August denied the allegations in court on Friday and will now stand trial on the charges.

Ryszard Masierak, a 31-year-old Polish national, and David Wagstaff, a 53-year-old British citizen, have both denied eight counts of death by dangerous driving after the crash near Newport Pagnell in southern England on August 26.

At a hearing in Aylesbury Crown Court on Friday, Masierak — who is also charged with being over the legal drink limit — was remanded in custody, while Wagstaff was given bail until their trial begins on February 26 next year.

Wagstaff pleaded guilty to eight lesser charges of causing death by “careless driving” but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it refused to accept the lesser charge and sought his trial on the more serious charge of “dangerous driving”.

Both drivers were involved in what was described as one of the worst road accidents in the UK, when two heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) crushed a mini-bus carrying tourists.

Nottingham-based Keralite minibus driver Cyriac Joseph and seven of his passengers — all Indians — were killed in the crash.

The 52-year-old had been hired to drive his passengers from Nottingham to London to join a European holiday tour group.

The victims included IT professionals employed by Indian software company Wipro and their friends and family.

The Indian nationals who died in the collision were named as Karthikeyan Pugalur Ramasubramanian, 33, and his wife, Lavanyalakshmi Seetharaman, 32; Panneerselvam Annamalai, 63, Subramaniyan Arachelvan, 58, and his wife Tamilmani Arachelvan, 50; Vivek Baskaran, 26 and Rishi Rajeev Kumar, 27.

Another Wipro employee, Mano Ranjan Panneerselvam, was among four people critically injured.

At a previous hearing, Judge Francis Sheridan had rejected Masierak’s bail plea when he was told that the Polish driver had reportedly fallen asleep in the slow lane of the highway just before the fatal collision.

“I am not going to grant bail in this case.

This is the most serious road traffic collision which has come before the courts certainly in the last 10 years and the flight risk is enormous,” the judge noted last month.

Masierak is charged with eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving, four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and eight counts of causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed limit.

Wagstaff is also charged with eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. PTI


  1. ^ Diaspora (www.tribuneindia.com)

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