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Thursday, 13 December, 2001, 16:11 GMT
Selby relatives relieved by verdict
Crash site
Ten people died in the crash
Relatives of people injured and killed in the Selby rail crash say they are relieved the case is over.

Ten men died when Gary Hart's Land Rover ploughed off the M62 motorway onto a railway line and into the path of a GNER express train which in turn hit a coal train.


I know he did not intend what happened but I cannot forgive him for not admitting it

Lee Taylor
After hearing that Hart had been found guilty of falling asleep at the wheel and 10 charges of causing death by dangerous driving, relatives spoke of their grief.

Many said it was now time to start trying to rebuild their lives.

But the widow of GNER chef Paul Taylor did not hold back her anger and said Hart deserved a lengthy prison sentence for his "catalogue of lies".

Mrs Lee Taylor said his lies and denials had caused the victims' families added grief throughout the trial and he fully deserved whatever sentence awaited him.

New chapter

Mrs Taylor, 48, of Longbenton, Tyne and Wear, said: "Nothing will ever bring Paul back but I'm over the moon with this verdict.

"I was physically sick twice yesterday because I thought it was maybe going to go the other way but now I am delighted with what the jury has found.

Mary Dunn
Mary Dunn: New start
"I know he did not intend what happened but I cannot forgive him for not admitting it," she added.

Hart, 37, from Strubby in Lincolnshire, had denied the 10 charges.

Other relatives said the verdict was the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.

Rachel Spadone said her husband Gian suffered a broken back in three places in the crash and did not feel able to speak about the accident.

"There is nothing I can say that can make anyone appreciate exactly what our family went through," she told a news conference.

"We are relieved that the trial has reached its conclusion, our hearts and prayers remain with all of the families who will continue to rebuild their lives and we only hope that this court case will bring a sense of peace and resolution to everyone affected by this tragedy."

Tiredness kills

Julia Shakespeare's husband Robert was a passenger killed on the GNER train.

"My husband, and father of four children, was an innocent victim in this terrible tragedy," she said.

Gary Hart
Gary Hart denies the ten charges
Mrs Shakespeare said she did not want to comment on what she had heard about Hart's lifestyle during the trial, but concluded: "If the Land Rover hadn't been on the tracks, my husband would still be alive."

She added: "I do think when anybody gets behind the wheel when they are tired, there is a tragedy waiting to happen."

The families, many choking back their tears, thanked the police, emergency services, medical staff and Railtrack for their support since the crash.

Mary Dunn, whose husband Steve died driving the coal train involved in the crash, said Friday would have been her husband's 40th birthday.

"It is the beginning of a new start," she said.

Rail hero

GNER customs operation manager Raymond Robson, who died in the train crash, was commended in the past for saving a passenger's life, his sister said.

Judith Cairncross said it was ironic her 43-year-old brother should die so tragically after he had been commended by the company when he saved a man who tried to jump from a moving train.

"He loved his job, he lived and breathed railways, he used to go to bed reading the rules and regulations," she said.

"He was the life and soul of the party but we cannot dwell too much on the past.

"We are not going to cry into our handkerchiefs, we are going to remember Raymond."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Kevin Bocquet at Leeds Crown Court
"It was a tragedy of horrific proportions"

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13 Dec 01 | England
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