UK: Indian-origin driver pleads guilty to deaths in pile-up
Posted on: 04:28 PM IST Jan 16, 2013
London: An Indian-origin coach driver has pleaded guilty to causing the deaths of two men in a horrific motorway crash in 2012 after he parked his vehicle on a carriageway and a lorry ploughed into it. Jasminder Singh Dhesi, 50, who will be sentenced in February, 2013, was arrested in March last year after a coach carrying fruit-pickers was struck by a lorry on the M5 near Birmingham.
Dhesi, from Great Barr, Birmingham, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving at Birmingham Crown Court, the Daily Mail reported. "The coach did break down three times. The defendant admits that he was aware it had broken down three times. The analysis showed all three break-downs were on the motorway," Prosecutor Neil Bannister told the court.
"After the first break-down he managed to get up to a speed of 26mph and then it broke down a second time. He knew he was in difficulty at that point. Conditions were poor. The defendant then took the decision knowing that his coach was in a poor state to take that risk to drive off again and on driving off again it only reached a speed of 25mph and then broke down a third and fatal time," Bannister said.
Wearing a grey suit with a purple turban, Dhesi showed little emotion as he was warned he almost certainly faced prison. Judge Peter Carr bailed Dhesi and ordered him to return to court on February 12 for sentencing. "You've pleaded guilty to a very serious offence in admitting that the deaths were your fault - prison is inevitable," the judge said.
Lorry driver William Mapstone, from Wells in Somerset, died in hospital after the collision, while a passenger on the Volvo coach, Liaquat Ali, also suffered fatal injuries. The Central Motorway Police Group was alerted to the crash and emergency crews treated more than 39 passengers. Seven ambulances attended the scene following the crash and the southbound M5 was closed for around eight hours.