Beds, Herts & Bucks

'Regret' of M1 death crash coach driver

Alan Peters Image copyright sbna
Image caption Coach driver Alan Peters told the court he believed the M1 hard shoulder was being used as a lane

A coach driver who killed three men and injured a fourth as he ploughed into a stationary car told a court he wished he could rewrite history.

Alan Peters, 78, of Ambleside Valley Drive, Gravesend, Kent, denies causing the deaths of the three men by dangerous driving on the M1 in Bedfordshire.

He was driving a bus which crashed into the Audi car on 14 February last year.

Mr Peters told Luton Crown Court of his "deep regret".

He has previously pleaded guilty to the lesser charges of causing three deaths by careless driving.

The Audi driver Allan Evans, 59, from Islington in London, died in the crash alongside back seat passengers Nathan Reeves, 23, and Tom Aldridge, 20, both from Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.

Their friend Jake Dorling, who was in the front passenger seat, suffered a fractured skull, fractured hips, four fractured ribs and a punctured lung, the court heard.

Mr Peters also denies causing serious injury to Mr Dorling.

Image copyright SBNA
Image caption Allan Evans, who had been driving the Audi car, had been giving friends Nathan Reeves and Tom Aldridge a lift home after a party

The three younger men were returning home from a birthday party in London.

Mr Peters told the families of the victims: "I deeply the regret the incident took place and I would do anything to rewrite history."

Prosecutor Peter Shaw earlier told the jury that Mr Evans had stopped the Audi when an oil light came on.

He said on the day of the crash, motorway signs indicated the hard shoulder should be used for emergency use only.

But in the witness box Mr Peters said: "My belief is that from junction 10 onwards the overhead gantry signs were displaying 'congestion - use hard shoulder' and 60mph signs. That is why I was on the hard shoulder."

Mr Shaw said Mr Peters had pleaded guilty to the lesser charges of causing three deaths by careless driving.

The case continues.

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