A coach driver who killed three men when he crashed into their parked car on the hard shoulder of the M1 in Bedfordshire has been convicted of causing death by dangerous driving.
Alan Peters, from Gravesend, was driving a double-decker Volvo coach, with 62 passengers, at 61mph when he ploughed into the back an Audi which was stationary on the hard shoulder with its hazard warning lights on. He had been driving on the hard shoulder for almost three minutes prior to the collision despite signs stating that the hard shoulder was for emergency use only.
Allan Evans, aged 59, from Islington, London along with Nathan Reeves, aged 23, and Thomas Aldridge, aged 20, both from Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, who were all in the Audi, died at the scene. Jake Dorling, aged 23, from Milton Keynes, who was the front seat passenger in the Audi, suffered a fractured skull, fractured hips, four fractured ribs and a punctured lung.
Charles White, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “This case involved a terrible incident, which led to the untimely deaths of three men and the serious injury of another. This is a tragic waste of these lives and could have been avoided.
“Alan Peters pleaded guilty to causing the deaths by careless driving, but his pleas were not accepted and the case proceeded to trial. The prosecution used evidence including CCTV to show that Alan Peters’ driving fell far below the standard of a careful, competent driver. Peters has today been found guilty of three counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, despite his denials.
“This case highlights the serious consequences of failing to be alert and prepared for unexpected or challenging driving conditions. My thoughts are very much with the families of the victims at this time and I hope that Jake continues with his recovery.”