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Train crash motorist facing prison.

THE driver found guilty of causing the deaths of 10 men in the Selby train crash was today expected to be sent to prison.

Builder Gary Hart, aged 37, was found guilty at Leeds Crown Court last month of 10 counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

The jury decided he had fallen asleep at the wheel of his Land Rover before it plunged off the M62 and on to the main East Coast railway line in February last year near the North Yorkshire village of Great Heck.

Moments later the Land Rover was hit by a speeding passenger train which then ploughed into a fully laden coal train.

Six passengers and four rail employees died. A total of 76 people were treated in hospital.

Today Hart, from Strubby, Lincolnshire, was being sentenced by Mr Justice Mackay.

At the end of the trial the judge told him: "You stand in peril of going to prison and going to prison for a substantial period."

The prosecution claimed Hart fell asleep at the wheel after spending the night before on the phone to Kristeen Panter - a woman he "met" eight days before through the internet.

Hart denied he had dozed off. He claimed he was "buzzing with excitement" as he prepared to meet Mrs Panter on the night of the accident for the first time.

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BACK IN COURT: Gary Hart
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 11, 2002
Words:230
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