A coach driver has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment after causing the deaths of three people in a ‘devastating and avoidable’ collision on the hard shoulder of the M1.
Alan Peters, now 78, from Ambleside Valley Drive, Gravesend, was sentenced today at Luton Crown Court.
Peters got seven years in jail and disqualified from driving for five years, after being found guilty of three counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Tom Aldridge, 20, and Nathan Reeves, 23, both from Newport Pagnell, tragically died when the coach being driven by Peters collided with their car, which was stationary on the hard shoulder between junctions 12 and 13 of the M1.
Jake Dorling, suffered serious injuries in the collision including a fractured skull and a punctured lung.
Jake, Tom, and Nathan were being given a lift back to Buckinghamshire by Allan Evans, 59, who also died, following a night out in London when the fatal incident happened.
During the trial the jury heard how Peters failed to see signs saying that the hard shoulder was not to be used except for in emergencies and travelled along it for almost three minutes before colliding with the car – which had its hazard warning lights activated.
The four had pulled over on the hard shoulder of the motorway after the oil light lit up on the dashboard. The driver had just finished topping up the oil and was preparing to set off again when the collision occurred.
PC David Clarke, said: “I’m pleased that justice has finally been done for the four families involved in this devastating incident in February last year
“Peters’ lack of attentiveness on that fatal morning has forever changed the lives of four families and he will have to live with that for the rest of his life.
“I would like to urge every driver to use this sentence as a stark reminder that dangerous driving is not acceptable and will be punished.
“Please take a moment to learn the rules regarding managed motorways and to ensure that you know what the signs mean in relation to using the hard shoulder.
“Just a few minutes familiarising yourself with this vital information could help prevent further tragic incidents such as this.”