Selby Rail Crash
Just before 6.15am on February 28 2001 a Land Rover pulling a trailer moved to the side of the M62 motorway near Selby then plunged off the road and down a railway embankment well before the safety barrier guarding against such events began. The vehicle became stuck on the southbound main line in spite of the efforts of its driver, 37-year-old Gary Hart.
A high speed train bound from Newcastle to London smashed into the stranded Land Rover, derailed, and then crashed into an oncoming freight train.
According to the findings of his subsequent trial Hart was exhausted by lack of sleep after spending much of the previous night talking to a recent contact made on the internet. His condition was such that he was not aware enough to apply the brakes as his vehicle went down the embankment. Hart claimed mechanical failure or hitting an object on the motorway caused him to leave the road, but no evidence of either was found by experts.
In all 10 people died in the tragedy: six passengers; four railway personnel. Another 82 were injured. Hart was found guilty of causing all 10 deaths by dangerous driving, and given a five-year prison sentence. He served half that time.
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