M62 crash deaths caused by haulage firm 'cutting corners'

image sourceSteve White
image captionThe lorry was carrying a mobile home when it went through the central barrier on the M62

A fatal motorway crash was caused by a haulage company boss "cutting corners", a court was told.

Two men died when their car was hit by a lorry which smashed through the central reservation of the M62 near Goole in April 2018.

Michael Holgate, who is alleged to run the transport firm, is on trial charged with manslaughter.

Hull Crown Court heard that the "collision happened because of a known fault in the braking system."

Nigel Eley, 41 and John-Paul Cassidy, 37, both from Manchester, were killed when their car driving on the opposite carriageway was hit by the lorry which was carrying a mobile home.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Andrew Thomas QC said that the culture of Mr Holgate's business "was to save money by cutting corners on maintenance and repairs."

"For about two weeks or more that trailer had a warning light showing on the dashboard that the brakes were not working," said Mr Thomas.

"Day after day the driver Jack Beston reported the fault to his depot, but despite that he was allowed to continue driving."

Mr Thomas said that Mr Beston, aged 22 at the time of the crash, was also uninsured because "to save money his boss Michael Holgate had insured the trailers on a policy which excluded drivers under 25".

The prosecutor said that Mr Holgate sought to disguise his involvement in running the family haulage business by operating a "deliberately confusing company structure".

"Michael Holgate was the driving force in the business; he was the man in overall control," said Mr Thomas.

The HGV's driver Jack Beston, 24, admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving when he appeared at an earlier hearing, he will be sentenced later.

Mr Holgate, of Munstead Way, Brough, denies two counts of manslaughter by gross negligence. He has also pleaded not guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting the causing of death by driving while unlicensed and uninsured.

The trial continues.

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