Lorry driver ‘playing medieval fantasy game’ at wheel before deadly motorway crash

Defendant pleads guilty to causing death by dangerous driving

Joe Cairns and Anne Kerr died from their injuries after their school minibus was hit on the M58
Joe Cairns and Anne Kerr died from their injuries after their school minibus was hit on the M58

A lorry driver was playing a medieval fantasy game at the wheel in the run-up to a motorway crash that killed two people, a court has heard.

James Majury was also said to have sent messages and checked Sky Sports on his phone in the time between setting off and being involved in a multi-vehicle collision in January 2019.

A 14-year-old boy, Joe Cairns, and a 50-year-old woman, Anne Kerr, died in the crash on the M58 in Bickerstaffe, Lancashire.

They were travelling in a minibus for pupils and staff from Pontville School, a special educational needs school, at the time of the collision.

Mr Majury pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and five counts of causing serious injury at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday.

The prosecution claimed that Mr Majury was “voluntarily distracted” for a lengthy period before and when he crashed.

The defendant is said to have used apps including Hustle Caste and Facebook in his 45 minute journey before the collision on 8 January.

Francis McEntee​, the prosecution lawyer, told the court that the defendant reacted “no more than half a second” before impact.

The judge refused to give Mr Majury bail and told him to expect a lengthy jail sentence.

James Ageros, the defence lawyer, said his client wanted to express his “profound remorse and regret for his actions and for their tragic loss”.

“The events themselves have had a severe psychological and physical impact on Mr Majury,” he said.

The defendant, from Chorley in Lancashire, will be sentenced on 31 March.

Press Association contributed to this report

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