Newport Pagnell crash: Tributes pour in for 'extraordinary father' Cyriac Joseph killed on M1

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Tributes have poured in for a minibus driver killed in the M1 crash, who has been described as an “extraordinary father” who would do anything for his friends.

Cyriac Joseph, 52, died when a vehicle he was driving crashed with two lorries on the road’s southbound carriageway in Buckinghamshire on Saturday.

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

His friend Manu Zachariah, 45, said the father-of-two would “do anything” for his family, and described his death as a “big loss to the community.”

He said: “He was a very close friend of mine, and we used to work together.

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

“It is very shocking and we don’t want to believe that he is not alive. We don’t want him to part us because he was part of every part of our lives.

“It is a big loss to the community.”

Mr Joseph was one of eight adults – six men and two women – killed in the crash near Newport Pagnell.

He was very active in the church community and the local cultural association, and was also a keen singer and sportsman who enjoyed volleyball, Mr Zachariah said.

He added: “Cyriac was not like normal fathers. He would love to spend his money and time on his children like none of his friends.

“He was always very encouraging of their extra-curricular activities. His son Benson is an athlete and he would take him to javelin training.

“He was an extraordinary father, and would do anything for his friends. He was always there for us and will be really missed.”

Mr Joseph had started the business around four years ago, and made mostly airport trips and similar journeys, according to his friend.

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

“He was picking up some people who worked for the IT company Wipro,” Mr Zachariah continued.

“Some of them had work permits to work here for some time. Some of them were from Tamil Nadu and some were from Kerala.

“They were travelling to Europe, and I think they were planning to go by a company called Star Tours.

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

“He was taking them to Wembley where Star Tours would pick them up. He was planning to drop them to Wembley stadium,” said Mr Zachariah.

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.

“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.

Witnesses compared the scene to a “war zone”.

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