Another life wrecked by smart motorways — driver does not deserve to go to jail, says widow

Another life wrecked by smart motorways — driver does not deserve to go to jail, says widow

By David Parker | 02/10/2020

Another life wrecked by smart motorways — driver does not deserve to go to jail, says widow
Claire and Jason Mercer

 

A WIDOW said a lorry driver who smashed into her husband’s vehicle was another victim of the smart motorway and did not deserve to go to jail.

Claire Mercer (43) lost her husband Jason Mercer (44) last June when his car was hit by a lorry on the northbound M1 between Junction 34 at Meadowhall and 35 at Thorpe Hesley.

Jason, of Broom, had pulled over while all lanes were running on the smart motorway to exchange details with Alexandru Murgeanu (22), from Mansfield, following a minor collision. Both died in the crash.

Prezemyslaw Zbigniew Szuba (40), of Adelaide Street, Hull, pleaded guilty to two offences of causing death by driving without due care and attention at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Monday (28).

Claire is suing Government-run Highways England over Jason’s death and has called for a judicial review into the controversial move to do away with the hard shoulder.

Claire said: “I believe he [Szuba] is carrying the can for someone else’s mistake.

“This wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t on a smart motorway.”

Claire said she did not want Szuba to go to jail.

“It doesn’t seem that that’s going to be listened to,” she said.

“His life has been ruined as much as our lives have been ruined.

“He’s going to lose his job because he’s lost his licence.

“He didn’t get up that morning planning to kill two people.”

Claire said Szuba’s life, and that of his family, had been devastated by what happened, just like her’s had been.

“It’s another life wrecked by this,” she said.

“What’s jailing him going to do, for something he didn’t want to do?

“He is another victim of the smart motorway.

“It’s some crumb of comfort that the criminal side of it will be over soon but I’m still continuing to push for a judicial review and a class action.

“Theres quite a few families joined together now who have lost loved ones to smart motorways.”

Szuba was released on bail and is due to be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on October 19.




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