Milton Keynes friends killed by pensioner coach driver
Two young friends were killed by a pensioner coach driver who ploughed into the back of their stationary car, a court heard this week.
Nathan Reeves, 23, and 20-year-old Tom Aldridge had sensibly chosen not to drink and drive and arranged a lift home after a birthday night out in London.
But the Newport Pagnell pals died after their driver pulled up on the M1 motorway hard shoulder because his oil light came on.
A double decker coach carrying a cheerleading team smashed into the back of them at more than 60mph – because the driver used the hard shoulder as an inside lane.
Alan Peters, 78, denies causing the death by dangerous driving of Nathan, Tom and also car driver Allan Evans, who lives in London.
He also denies causing serious injury to a third Milton Keynes man, 23 -year-old Jake Dorling.
But he has pleaded guilty to causing the deaths by careless driving.
Jake told Luton Crown court he had gone out with Tom and Nathan to The Egg nightclub in London the previous evening to celebrate another friend’s birthday.
They looked for taxis to bring them home about 5.30am the following morning – Valentine’s Day last year.
Cabbies wanted to charge the trio £130, but Mr Evans agreed to take them in his Audi car for just £60.
“He was a genuine and lovely bloke,” said Jake.
He said the oil light came on in Mr Evans’ car near junction 12 and they pulled over on the hard shoulder.
“He put oil in the car. We were almost ready to set off. I looked back and I don’t really remember anything. My next memory was waking up in hospital with a bandage round my head,” said sole survivor Jake Dorling.
Elderly coach driver Alan Peters said he did not see the hazard warning lights on the stationary car.
The court heard the Audi owner was putting oil in his car when the coach ploughed into him.
Mr Peters said he thought the hard shoulder was open to traffic at all times.
The jury heard that it can sometimes be deployed as such between M1 junctions 10 and 13. But on the day of the collisions there were signs saying it was for emergency use only.
The trial continues.