Newport Pagnell crash: First victim named as 'perfect' minibus driver Cyriac Joseph

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The first victim of a devastating motorway crash which left eight people dead has been named as a father-of-two who was killed when the minibus he was driving collided with two lorries.

Cyriac Joseph, 52, was one of eight adults – six men and two women – killed when the minibus they were travelling in from Nottingham was involved in the pile-up on the M1 in Buckinghamshire on Saturday.

Indian-born Mr Joseph was driving a group of two or three families to Wembley coach station, north west London, when the crash happened, the Sunday Mirror reported.

His wife of 20 years Ancy is in hospital, where a man, a woman, a five-year-old and another passenger all remain in a serious condition, neighbours told the newspaper.

The couple, who celebrated their 20th anniversary last year have two children Benson 20 and Benitea, 16.

The crash happened on the southbound carriageway. (PA/Sky News)

Relative Soyiman Joseph paid tribute to the driver, known as Benny, calling him his “best friend”.

He told the Sunday Mirror: “Benny was the perfect driver. It is devastating.”

He wrote in a Facebook post: “Hearty condolences. I never thought yesterday 10 pm you say thank you to me it was our last meeting.

Two men have been arrested. (Sky News/PA)

“My dearest friend Benny passed away this morning after a huge road accident happened in M1 in London.”

Horrific images showed the minibus crumpled as police dealt with the aftermath of the crash between junctions 14 and 15.

The scene on the M1 near Newport Pagnell after six men and two women were killed. (Sky News)

Witnesses compared the scene to a “war zone”.

Brett Smith, 36, was travelling home from a night out in a taxi when they saw the devastating scene on Saturday morning.

He said he saw “blood everywhere” as he rushed over to help the seriously injured five-year-old girl.

Mr Smith told the Sun: “I heard crying. 

“I could see her face to face. I still see her now when I close my eyes.”

Eight people were killed in the crash (Twitter/ItsOllieYT)

He added she was trapped underneath a seat and screaming.

“I was getting her to hold my hand and my arm,” he said.

Two men have been charged over the crash which happened around 3.15am.

Ryszard Masierak, aged 31, of Barnards Close, Evesham, Worcestershire, was arrested at the scene.

He was today charged with eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving, four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. 

He was also charged with eight counts of causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed alcohol limit.

Mr Masierak is being held by police and will appear at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court on Monday. 

A second man David Wagstaff, aged 53, of Derwent Street, Stoke-on-Trent, was charged with eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was bailed to appear at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

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