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Sunday 15 January 2012

Lorry driver found guilty of causing M6 deaths


A lorry driver responsible for the death of two men changing a tyre on the hard shoulder of the M6 has been sentenced to 6 years behind bars.

Malcolm John Simpson (62) of Sycamore Road, Barlby, Selby in Yorkshire was convicted of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving after a three day trial at Chester Crown Court.

At 11.15am on Thursday 9 September 2010 Thomas Southward and Philip Cawley were changing a tyre on the hard shoulder of the M6 close to junction 17.

At the time a Scania HGV being driven by Simpson was travelling North on the M6.

As he reached Bradwall near Sandbach, which is between Junction 17 and 18 he was seen to drive onto the hard shoulder and collided with the two men.

Thomas was thrown forward into the line of traffic and was hit by another HGV.

The terrible incident was caught on the Highways Agency′s CCTV and showed the vehicle drive onto the hard shoulder and back out and almost onto the middle lane. It then drifted back into the hard shoulder where it collided with the men.

The injuries were extensive and proved fatal. The men were pronounced dead at the scene.

Motorway Inspector Liz Cunningham said: "Had the driver paid the necessary and correct attention, this tragic incident could have been avoided.

"He was employed as a professional driver in a high risk environment where the responsibility to other road users is paramount.

"As a Constabulary we are actively working to improve the conditions for motorists on Cheshire roads alongside our partner agencies and working to educate drivers in respect of the consequences that their dangerous driving can cause."

She added: "This was a tragic incident which has left a hole in the lives of two families. While the sentence will bring a sense of closure, this will stay with the families of Thomas and Philip forever as they try to come to terms with such a horrendous loss."

The families of both men said: "On the 9th September 2010 our families were devastated when we were informed by the Police that Philip and Tommy had been killed on the hard shoulder of the M6 north of Sandbach.

"We have found this a very distressing and difficult sixteen months for the enquiry to come to trial.

"We would like to thank everyone who assisted at the time of the incident, including the witnesses at the scene, Cheshire Police, CPS in particular Simon Parry QC and the family liason officers who supported the families through this very trying time."

Following the conviction of Malcolm Simpson at Chester Crown Court today the family have now asked to be afforded some privacy to come to terms with their loss.

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