Bradford bus driver charged over fatal M62 crash

Bethany Jones

Bethany Jones

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Detectives investigating the M62 hen-party crash which killed a teenage girl have charged a Bradford man with causing death by dangerous driving.

Bus driver James Johnson, 63, of Wyke, was one of two men charged with the offence yesterday.

He was driving a minibus that crashed with a lorry near junction 32 of the westbound carriageway, near Pontefract, at 11.30am on April 26 last year. The bus was taking a group of 21 women to Liverpool for a hen party.

Bethany Jones, 18, of South Elmsall near Wakefield, was on the bus. She died following the crash, and 12 other people, including the bride-to-be Stefanie Firth and Mr Johnson, were injured.

The teenager’s family paid tribute to her after the crash. They said: “Beth was a fun and bubbly girl who was caring and considerate to everyone she met.

“She was the apple of her grandad’s eye and she will never be forgotten and sadly missed by everyone.”

A fun day was held in July in Bethany’s memory and to raise money for Beth’s Angels, a charity set up to support those who were injured in the crash, and Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

It was organised by police and featured football, tag rugby, live music, stalls, and displays from police and the fire service.

Another fundraising event took place at Hemsworth Rugby Club, where Bethany had close ties, in August. It included a rugby match, auction, raffle and live music.

Bethany was training in Leeds to be a nurse when she died.

Mr Johnson was initially arrested last June on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Lorry driver Kevin Ollerhead, 44, of St Helens, Merseyside, was also charged with causing death by dangerous driving yesterday.

Both men were bailed to appear before Wakefield Magistrates Court on January 20.

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