A lorry driver accused of killing eight people in a motorway crash was almost twice the drink drive limit when he allegedly stopped in the middle of the road for 12 minutes, a court heard today. Ryszard Masierak, 31, is accused of causing the deaths of eight people on the M1 on Saturday after a Ford Transit minibus attempted to switch lanes to avoid his parked Scania lorry. There was then a crash involving a second Mercedes Benz lorry.
Six men and two women died in the crash which took place at around 3:15am on the southbound carriageway, near Newport Pagnell, Bucks. Masierak later gave a reading of 55mg of alcohol in a 100ml sample of breath, magistrates were told. The legal limit is 35mg per 100ml of breath. Masierak appeared in High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court today charged with eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He is also charged with eight counts of causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed limit.
Wearing a grey prison issue tracksuit and with short brown hair and stubble, he stood in the dock with his hands in front, flanked by two dock officers. Masierak was aided by a Polish interpreter as the charges were read to him, which took 15 minutes. At one point he was passed a tissue through the dock, and he was seen to wipe away tears.