A truck driver has been sent to jail for 14 years for causing a motorway crash that killed eight people.
Ryszard Masierak, 31, a Polish national who lives in Evesham, was sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court on Friday (23 March) after being found guilty at a two week trial earlier this month.
Masierak was well over the drink-drive limit when he stopped for 12 minutes in the slow lane of the M1 near Newport Pagnell at 3am in the morning on 26 August last year. He 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 was told.
Despite the hard shoulder being available he sat stationary in the slow lane as passing motorists pulled out to avoid him.
At the earlier trial the court heard that the accident happened after a minibus pulled up behind his lorry and put on its hazard lights, waiting to go around it. Seconds later another lorry, driven by David Wagstaff ploughed into the back of the minibus, forcing it under Masierak’s vehicle.
Eight people were killed in the crash and Masierak was found guilty of eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
The second lorry driver, David Wagstaff, 54, was cleared of causing death by dangerous driving but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.
He was jailed for three years and four months for his role in the tragedy.
He had been on a hands free call and in cruise control at 56mph when he crashed into the minibus driven by Cyriac Joseph, who was taking passengers on their way to Disneyland when they died alongside their driver in the early morning crash.
Masierak has also been banned from driving for 17 years.
At the trial the jury heard that Masierak had been drinking cans of cider when he brought his vehicle to a halt on the motorway. He was driving an AIM Logistics vehicle while David Wagstaff was a FedEx driver.
By David Harris