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Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK
Appeal setback for Selby crash driver
Gary Hart outside Leeds Crown Court
Hart can still apply for a full appeal hearing
The driver who caused the Selby rail crash has failed in the first stage of his attempt to have his conviction overturned.

Gary Hart was jailed for five years earlier this year after he was convicted of 10 counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

On Thursday, a spokesman for the Court of Appeal said a judge had refused to give Hart, 37, from Strubby, Lincolnshire, leave to appeal.

However, he said Hart could still take his application to a full Court of Appeal hearing before three judges.

Hart's Land Rover amid the wreckage
An express train hit Hart's Land Rover

At his trial at Leeds Crown Court the jury decided he fell asleep at the wheel of his Land Rover before it plunged on to the main East Coast railway line.

The car was hit by a passenger train moments after it crashed off the M62 near the North Yorkshire village of Great Heck on 28 February last year.

The passenger train was then hit by a coal train travelling in the opposite direction.

Six passengers and four rail employees died, and 76 people were injured.

At his trial, prosecutors said Hart fell asleep at the wheel after spending the night before on the phone to Kristeen Panter - a woman he "met" eight days before on the internet.

'Buzzing excitement'

The jury heard Hart's Land Rover was wrecked by the 117mph impact of the GNER express, which then travelled another 500 yards before colliding head-on with a goods train laden with 1,600 tonnes of coal.

Hart denied he had dozed off.

He said he was "buzzing with excitement" as he prepared to meet Mrs Panter, on the night of the accident, for the first time.

Hart's solicitor, John Warwick, said he was not able to discuss his client's appeal case without Hart's consent.


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14 Jun 02 | Health
23 Apr 02 | England
12 Apr 02 | England
18 Jan 02 | England
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