Lorry driver jailed for fatal crash

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The Independent Online
A LORRY driver was sentenced to 15 months in jail yesterday for causing the deaths of five women in a crash on the M50.

Peter Young, 47, was trying to jump a queue of traffic slowing for roadworks by switching into the slow lane when his 4.5-ton Volvo lorry travelling at 61mph ran over a Ford Fiesta that was going at 15mph, killing all four nurses.

The crushed car was wedged underneath the lorry as it careered 173ft and caused a six-vehicle pile-up near Tewkesbury. A passenger in another car also died.

The maximum sentence at the time of the crash on 14 July last year was five years' jail. This has now been doubled.

Barrie Edwards, 51, of Malvern Link, Worcestershire, whose wife Pauline, 45, was one of the nurses killed, said after the case: 'I was expecting a longer sentence, but you abide by the law. We don't live in a vigilante society, so you abide by whatever goes on.'

Mr Edwards, who is left with a son, Nigel, 19, and a daughter, Louise, 15, added: 'The law has now been changed because they think it does deserve a stiffer sentence if death is involved.'

Young, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, was convicted in July at Hereford Crown Court of causing five deaths by dangerous driving.

A heavy goods vehicle driver for 25 years, Young was running late on the day of the accident because he overslept. He was further delayed by traffic jams. He was heading home from South Wales after driving 297 miles in a 10-hour day.

Graham Cliff, for the prosecution, told the jury that Young was hurrying to make up lost time, and tried to 'jump the queue'.

The three other nurses, who were returning to Bupa's South Bank Hospital in Worcester from a training day in Cardiff, were: Corrie Howard, 32, Liz Crooks, 46, and Sheila Corbett, 48. The fifth victim was Elizabeth Cruickshanks, 61, a secretary, of Partick, Strathclyde.

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