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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Death crash van driver had no driving licence

A motorway driver who had taken amphetamine and did not have a valid licence crashed into the back of a stationary car on the stretch of M6 between Sandbach and Holmes Chapel, killing a woman and seriously injuring her daughter, a court was told.

Marcin Szewczyk, (43), was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison at Chester Crown Court last Tuesday having previously admitted causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was also handed a five-year driving ban, which will be in place on his release from prison.

Szewczyk, of 214, The Bentleys, Lancashire Hill, Heaton Norris, pleaded guilty to two charges, that on 30th October, in Sandbach, he caused the death of Suzanne Taylor and caused serious injury to Wendy Jones, by driving a Mercedes Sprinter dangerously on the M6 motorway northbound.

The court heard how at around 12.30am on Saturday, 30th October 2021, a white Mercedes Sprinter van being driven by Szewczyk collided with the rear of a stationary Kia Sportage, pushing the vehicle into an HGV, between junction 17 (Sandbach) and junction 18 (Middlewich).

As a result of the collision, the rear seat passenger of the Kia, Ms Taylor, died at the scene.
Her daughter, who was the front seat passenger, suffered serious injuries and was taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital. Due to the severity of her injuries she had to undergo surgery and was discharged two months later.

The court heard how their vehicle had been displaying hazard warning lights at the time of the collision and had been so for over a minute.

After Szewczyk’s arrest, toxicology results showed he had traces of amphetamine in his system.

During the investigation, officers spoke to key witnesses who stated that his van was weaving all over the road, and dash camera footage proved “pivotal” in the case.
GPS data from his employer found that Szewczyk had left the warehouse a total of 22 hours and 31 minutes prior to the collision, travelling more than 450 miles.

Investigating officer PC Faye Clarke said: “Szewczyk’s actions and decision to continue to drive throughout the 22-hour period prior to the collision has devastated Suzanne’s family.

“He did not hold a valid driving licence and enquiries found that his Polish driving licence was listed as confiscated and invalid.

“While employed as a professional driver, Szewczyk deliberately chose to ignore the law and continued to drive while knowingly fatigued and under the influence of a controlled drug, which put lives at risk. He had ample opportunity to pull in or leave the motorway network but continued to drive.”

PC Clarke added: “I would like to thank all those who assisted at the scene and those who have supported police to allow us to build a case to put Szewczyk before the court and take him off the roads.

“Our thoughts remain with Suzanne’s family who have been left devastated following this tragic collision. They have shown such dignity and courage throughout proceedings.”

Following the sentencing, the victim’s family said: “As a family we are pleased with the custodial sentence of seven and a half years, though no sentence can bring mum back.
“We as a family want to move forward with our lives, keeping mum in our thoughts at all times.

“We would like to thank Cheshire Police for their hard work and patience showed throughout this process, especially our family liaison officer and the investigation team.”

Szewczyk was disqualified from driving for 105 months, with an extension period of three years and nine months to cover his time in prison but including an interim disqualification from 10th March.

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £190.

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