Nottingham

Fatal M1 lorry crash: Tributes paid to Cyriac Joseph

Cyriac Joseph Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Mr Joseph would go the extra mile to help people, his friends said

Tributes have been paid to a Nottingham minibus driver who was among eight people killed in a crash on the M1 on Saturday.

Cyriac Joseph, 52, known as Benny, from Sherwood, who runs ABC Travels, died when his vehicle was in collision with two lorries.

It is thought he was driving a party of Indian visitors from Nottingham to Wembley, north-west London.

Two lorry drivers have been charged in connection with the crash.

A service was held in Lenton, Nottingham, on Sunday in memory of Mr Joseph, who was originally from the Indian state of Kerala.

Image copyright LNP / BBC
Image caption Eight minibus passengers died in the crash with two lorries on the southbound M1 at Newport Pagnell

Father Biju Joseph, who conducted a mass at St Paul's Church, said: "It's so sad and we're praying to God for his soul and his family.

"People are really shocked, he was such a good friend. He was like a brother to me."

Father Joseph confirmed that Mr Joseph's wife and children, a 19-year-old man and a girl aged 15, who attended the service, were told of his death by police on Saturday morning.

He said the prayer service was a "great relief" for them.

Alex Daniel, a friend, said Mr Joseph was a "great leader" within the south Indian community in Nottingham.

He said: "I'm not surprised by the amount of people who came [to the service]. We got calls from across the country showing concerns for the family."

'Best friend'

Messages were posted on social media following the crash, expressing condolences.

Manu Zachariah described "Benny" as his best friend who was like a big brother to him.

"He would go an extra mile to help anyone in need," he said. "He loved company of friends. He was sports enthusiast and active cultural leader of our community. He was positive thinker and wanted everyone to improve."

Image caption Many people attended a church service dedicated to Mr Joseph

Mr Zachariah also said Mr Joseph was once the president of Nottingham Malayalee Cultural Association (NMCA).

Soyimon Joseph, who described Mr Joseph as his "dearest friend", last saw him on Friday evening.

In a Facebook post he said: "Hearty condolences. I never thought yesterday 10pm [Friday] you say thank you to me it was our last meeting."

Image caption Mourners paid their respects to Mr Joseph

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