M40 Oxford Tube coach driver not guilty of dangerous driving

The driver of a coach that overturned on the M40 has been found not guilty of dangerous driving.

A jury at Oxford Crown Court instead found Mark Woodward, 58, of Beaumaris Close, Banbury, guilty of careless driving.

He was fined £750, disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay £100 costs.

Seventeen people were taken to hospital after the Oxford Tube coach rolled on a sliproad at junction 7 at Great Milton.

'Experienced driver'

The double-decker coach carrying 32 passengers had been travelling from London to Oxford on Saturday 11 December.

Image caption The court heard that Woodward had left the motorway at the wrong junction

It left the road shortly before 23:00 GMT, crashed through a barrier and rolled on its side down an embankment.

The coach had been due to leave the motorway at junction 8 for Oxford but junction 7 had a much sharper bend.

The court heard that Woodward had not been breaking the speed limit but had left the motorway at the wrong junction.

He said he was an experienced coach driver and had never been involved in a crash before.

During the trial jurors were shown on-board footage of the moment he lost control in which passengers could be heard screaming.

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