A lorry driver who crashed his vehicle into the rear of a minibus on the M25 has pleaded guilty to causing the deaths of four people.

Roads policing officers were called to junction 26 of the motorway in Waltham Abbey on 23 August 2021 following reports that an HGV had collided with a minibus.

An investigation by Essex police’s serious collision investigation unit established Ethan Burdett, 67, had failed to react to stationary traffic queuing in lane one as he approached the exit slip road.

His truck struck the rear of the bus, which then shunted forward and struck a car.

When officers arrived, they saw that the minibus and lorry both had sustained substantial damage.

Of the 11 passengers in the minibus - who were returning to London following a day trip to Southend - four passengers were seriously injured; three additional passengers and the driver of the car all sustained minor injuries.

Abigael Muamba, 31, 60-year-old Dexter Augustus and 59-year-old Jennifer Smith all died in the collision. Lisa Gardiner, 44, later died of her injuries.

The anti-clockwise section of the M25 was closed for 11-and-a-half hours.

Roads policing officer detective inspector Mark Fraser, who led the investigation, said:

“My thoughts, and those of all my officers who have been involved in the investigation, continue to be with the families and friends who lost their loved ones that evening.”

Following the conviction, Burdett will be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday 4 July