A haulage boss has been jailed for 15 years for manslaughter after one of his lorries crashed through a central reservation and killed two men. 

Michael Holgate was also found guilty of causing death whilst uninsured following a two-week trial at Hull Crown Court.

The driver of the lorry, Jack Beston, who was 22 at the time of the collision, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving when he appeared at an earlier hearing and was jailed for six years.

The court heard how Beston was driving the 30-tonne artic carrying a static caravan along the M62 in April 2018 when he lost control of the vehicle and it careered through the central reservation and onto the opposite carriageway, colliding with a car that Nigel Eley and John-Paul Cassidy were travelling in. Both men died.

A police investigation found mechanical faults with the vehicle, including that the brakes to the trailer were seriously defective.

Beston had known there was a problem with the brakes and had reported it on numerous occasions, but Holgate failed to fix the issue.

The investigation also revealed that although the vehicle involved was insured, the policy stated that all drivers must be 25 or over, which Beston was not.

Speaking after the sentencing of Holgate and Beston, Sergeant Rob Mazingham of Humberside police serious collision unit, said, “Jack Beston knew as he drove the vehicle down the M62 that day that his brakes were not working and yet, rather than pull his vehicle safely over and call for mechanical assistance, he continued his journey which ended in fatal consequences.

“For his part, Michael Holgate owned the haulage company which was responsible for maintaining this and other vehicles in his fleet.

“He was responsible for making sure his vehicles were roadworthy.  Long-standing mechanical faults existed with this and other vehicles which clearly showed Holgate’s disregard for his responsibilities.

“Our investigation revealed a shocking picture of a company culture with a complete disregard of safety and maintenance.”

Mazingham added: “I hope that the sentencing of these two men provides John-Paul’s and Nigel’s families some form of closure at this very difficult time and also serves as a warning to other drivers and operators who may be tempted to risk lives by not adhering to rules and regulations imposed for the safety of all.”