Men in court over fatal M62 crash

Bethany Jones
Bethany Jones

Two men appeared in court charged with causing the death of an 18-year-old woman in a minibus crash which was on route to a hen party.

Bethany Jones died and many of her friends and family were seriously injured when the minibus they were travelling in hit a lorry on the M62 last April.

James Johnson, who was driving the minibus, and Kevin Ollerhead, who was driving the lorry, both appeared at Wakefield Magistrates’ Court.

Johnson, 62, of Whytecote End, Wyke, and Ollerhead, of Lincoln Crescent, St Helens, both stood as the charge of causing death by dangerous driving was put to them in the packed courtroom.

No pleas were entered in the five-minute hearing and Deputy District Judge Philip Holden told both men the case could only be dealt with by a judge in the Crown Court.

The defendants, who were both smartly dressed in suits and ties, spoke only to give their names and personal details.

Miss Jones was with a group of women heading for a hen party in Liverpool when the minibus collided with the lorry and overturned on the M62 at junction 32, near Pontefract, on April 26.

Among those injured in the crash was bride-to-be Stefanie Firth as well as Miss Jones’s mother and sister.

Johnson and Ollerhead were given unconditional bail and told to appear at Leeds Crown Court on February 3 for a preliminary hearing.