Smart motorway deaths result in jail sentence

Chris Tindall
November 6, 2020

An HGV driver that caused the deaths of two motorists on the M1 has been jailed for 10 months.

Prezemyslaw Szuba, 40, from Hull, was charged with two counts of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving following the collision on the ‘smart’ motorway stretch in June 2019. Szuba, who pleaded guilty to the charges at a previous hearing, was travelling along the M1, near to Junction 34 when he collided with Jason Mercer and Alexandru Murgeanu, killing the two men instantly.

Both drivers had been involved in a minor road traffic collision moments earlier and they had pulled over to exchange details.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that at the time of the incident the motorway was open and all four lanes were subject to the national speed limit of 70 mph.

The forensic collision investigator concluded that, while both drivers breached the Highway Code by not moving to a hard shoulder area, the primary responsibility lay with the defendant’s failure to recognise the stationary transit van.

Investigating Officer Mark Bradey said: “Szuba pleaded guilty to the charges, accepted responsibility and spared the families further distress by going through a trial process. “I hope today will bring some element of closure to Jason and Alexandru’s loved ones.” As well as the 10-month sentence, Szuba was banned from driving for four years and five months and ordered to take an extended re-test.

Following the collision, Mercer’s widow has pursued a campaign to halt the use of all-lane running motorways.

About the Author


Chris Tindall

Chris Tindall started writing for the haulage and logistics industry in 2002 and has covered a broad range of significant issues, including GPS jamming by criminals, platooning and Brexit.

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