A St Helens man has appeared at crown court charged with causing the death of an 18-year-old woman in a crash on the M62 in West Yorkshire, en route to a hen party.
Trainee nurse Bethany Jones, of South Elmsall, near Wakefield, was killed on April 26 last year after the minibus taking her to Liverpool collided with a lorry near junction 32 of the motorway.
Twelve others in the 21-strong party were injured in the crash, including Miss Jones’ sister and mother, and bride-to-be Stefanie Firth.
Minibus driver James Johnson, 62, of Bradford, and lorry driver Kevin Ollerhead, 44, of St Helens, Merseyside, have both been charged with causing death by dangerous driving.
Today the two drivers appeared at Leeds Crown Court where the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, told them they would next appear before the court on May 2 for a plea and case management hearing.
A provisional trial date of October 13 was also set. The trial is expected to last ten days.
Alistair McDonald QC, representing Ollerhead, indicated that he would be calling on expert witnesses as there were issues relating to “visibility and stopping distances”.
Johnson, wearing a dark suit and tie with a white shirt and glasses, and grey-haired Ollerhead, also wearing a dark suit, were both bailed until the next court appearance.