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Tuesday, 4 December, 2001, 17:55 GMT
Selby jury visits crash scene
Gary Hart
Gary Hart joined his defence team at the track
The jury in the trial of the man accused of causing 10 deaths in the Selby rail crash has visited the spot where his Land Rover careered on to the East Coast main line.

The seven women and five men travelled with the judge, Mr Justice Mackay, to see where Gary Hart's vehicle left the M62 in Yorkshire.

Mr Hart, 37, who denies 10 counts of causing death by dangerous driving, also visited the spot.

Later the jury listened to a taped interview Mr Hart made with North Yorkshire Police.

Gary Hart
Gary Hart: Denies ten charges

The night before the crash, he spent five hours on the telephone to a woman he met through an internet dating agency.

The prosecution alleges Mr Hart fell asleep at the wheel because of a lack of sleep.

During the police interview, he described how he had felt just before his car left the road.

He told police: "I felt really, really alive, I'm still buzzing now.

'Excited'

"I cannot believe how we met... all the way to the point of the accident I was really buzzing.

"I was due to meet her that Wednesday night.

"I was excited about meeting her... I was really, really high."

After the Land Rover left the road it was hit by an express train heading for London at 117mph.

About 500 yards further down the line, the derailed passenger express then crashed into an oncoming goods train which was pulling 16 wagons filled with 1,600 tonnes of coal.

The seven women and five men of the jury arrived at the scene of the disaster shortly before 1200 GMT in a 40-seater coach.

Tyre marks

A single cone was placed on the motorway where Mr Hart's vehicle had left the carriageway on 28 February before ploughing down the embankment.

The jury took several minutes to look at tyre marks left in the embankment by his Land Rover and trailer.

Police had covered the tracks with a green and blue coloured plastic to make them easier to trace in the grass.

The men and women of the jury descended the embankment using purpose-built steps and guide ropes to help them down.

They then walked towards the railway line along plastic matting at the bottom.

Motorway closed

After talking among themselves they returned to the top of the embankment.

Mr Hart, of Strubby, Lincolnshire, chatted with his barristers Edmund Lawson QC and Gordon Aspden before he returned to the waiting coach.

The visit lasted 40 minutes.

During that time two express trains and a coal wagon passed along the track.

The party, who wore florescent bibs, were protected by the closure of two westbound lanes of the M62.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jane Hughes
is following the proceedings
See also:

03 Dec 01 | England
Selby disaster was 'sleep related'
29 Nov 01 | England
Selby families hear 999 call
Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


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