Hull lorry driver Prezemyslaw Zbigniew Szuba facing jail after killing two men in M1 crash

A Hull lorry driver will be sentenced later today for causing the deaths of two men on a smart motorway last year. Prezemyslaw Zbigniew Szuba, 40, admitted two counts of causing death by driving without due care and attention when he appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court in September. Jason Mercer, 44, and Alexandru Murgeanu, 22, were killed after Szuba’s lorry ploughed into their stationary vehicles on a section of the M1 near Sheffield on June 7, 2019.

Mr Mercer’s wife Claire has mounted a campaign against smart motorways since her husband’s death, arguing that he would not have died if there had been a hard shoulder. She also said she would be using her victim personal statement in court to argue that the Szuba, of Adelaide Street, west Hull, should be spared jail.

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She told the Sunday Telegraph: “I don’t believe the correct person is taking responsibility. The events would not have taken place if England’s highways were run with the correct priorities in mind.”

The magistrates’ court heard how Mr Mercer, from Rotherham, and Mr Murgeanu, from Mansfield, had been involved in a “minor bump” on the northbound carriageway of the M1, between junctions 34 and 35, and had stopped in the slow lane. Szuba’s Mercedes HGV “ploughed into both vehicles”.

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To join our Facebook group, click here. Prosecutors said the lorry was not speeding and there was no suggestion that the defendant had been drinking or was on drugs. 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.

Szuba will be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday.