Driver jailed for three years after M25 crash

A driver who caused a collision on the M25 that left four people dead has been jailed following his guilty plea.

Ethan Burdett (pictured below) of Ipswich Haven Marina, Ipswich, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday (July 4), where he was jailed for three years for four counts of causing death by careless driving following the 2021 fatal crash.

Burdett (67) was also disqualified from driving for four-and-a-half years and will be required to undertake a retest.

The truck crashed into the back of a minibus in stationary traffic on the M25 traffic in 2021, when Burdett lost concentration on the inside lane of the motorway.

An investigation by the police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit established that Burdett, who had been travelling between junction 27 to junction 26, did not react until less than a second before the collision when he took his foot off the acclerator,

His lorry was still travelling at more than 50mph when it ploughed into the back of the minibus carrying residents of a homeless hostel back from a day out at the seaside.

Abigael Muamba, 31, from Edmonton Green, Dexter Augustus, 60, from Waltham Forest, and Jennifer Smith, 59, from Stratford, all died at the scene of the crash.

Lisa Gardiner, 44, from Walthamstow, died of her injuries six days later in hospital, while four others were badly hurt in the crash.

Passing sentence, Judge Chris Morgan said the crash had been “truly catastrophic on the families of the deceased and those left with serious injuries”.

“The scars will remain with them for the rest of their lives,” he added.

Tests later showed Burdett was not on his phone, and he was negative for drugs and alcohol.

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.”