Hull lorry driver facing prison after killing men in M1 fatal crash

A Hull lorry driver has admitted causing the death of a Yorkshire man who died after being hit by a HGV on the M1. Jason Mercer, 44, of Rotherham was killed instantly after being hit by a truck driven by Prezemyslaw Zbigniew Szuba, 40, of Adelaide Street, Hull. The crash happened on June 7, 2019, on the motorway near Sheffield, reports Yorkshire Live.

The accident happened near junction 34 of the M1 at the Tinsley/Meadowhall Interchange after Mr Mercer had been in a minor collision with another man called Alexandra Murgeanu, 22, near junction 34 of the M1 at the Tinsley/Meadowhall Interchange. But when they stopped to exchange details, both died when a lorry ploughed into their stationary vehicles. On Monday, Szuba, 40, admitted two counts of causing death by driving without due care and attention when he appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.

He is set to be sentenced next month.

Claire Mercer has since launched a legal campaign to scrap the use of smart motorways after her husband died close to Sheffield

Since her husband’s death, Mr Mercer’s wife Claire has mounted a prominent campaign against smart motorways and the case has become a leading example in the ongoing debate over the safety of these roads in the UK. Susan Fisher, prosecuting, told the court how Mr Merce and Mr Murgeanu, who was from Mansfield, had been involved in a “minor bump” on the northbound carriageway of the motorway, between junctions 34 and 35, and had stopped in the slow lane. She said Szuba’s Mercedes HGV “ploughed into both vehicles”.

Ms Fisher said the lorry was not speeding and there was no suggestion that the defendant had been drinking or was on drugs.

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She said: “From the Crown’s perspective, the defendant has simply not seen the vehicles that have stopped and not slowed down sufficiently.” Nicola Hale, defending, said her client had only just joined the motorway at junction 34 and “it was only for a matter of seconds that the (stationary) vehicles were visible”. She said the evidence in the case showed Szuba was driving “normally” and well within the speed limit just before the crash.

Deputy District Judge Michelle Jeffreys ruled that, as the likely outcome would be more than six months in prison, the sentencing had to be by a crown court judge. Szuba sat in the dock wearing a blue suit, pink shirt and a grey-and-black tie. He spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address as well as to enter his guilty pleas.

Szuba was given unconditional bail and told he will be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on October 19.

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