York & North Yorkshire

Selby rail crash car driver Gary Hart blames 'fate'

Selby rail crash
Image caption Ten people lost their lives in the crash near Selby in February 2001

The car driver who caused the Selby rail crash which killed 10 people has said it was "fate" that the accident happened.

Gary Hart, whose Land Rover veered off the M62 and on to the track after he fell asleep at the wheel, spoke out on the 10th anniversary of the crash.

He said: "I believe in fate and I was meant to be there that morning."

Meanwhile, Mary Dunn, whose train driver husband was killed, has said she cannot forgive Hart for what happened.

The crash, at Great Heck near Selby, North Yorkshire, happened after Hart's Land Rover plunged off the motorway on to the East Coast main line.

This caused a 125mph London express train and a 1,800-tonne freight train, driven by Mr Dunn, to collide, killing six passengers, four railway staff and injuring more than 80 others.

Hart, of Strubby, Lincolnshire, was unable to move his vehicle off the tracks and was calling the emergency services when the crash happened.

He had had little sleep the night before and was later found guilty of 10 counts of causing death by dangerous driving. Hart was sentenced to five years in prison.

'Feels guilt'

The trial heard he fell asleep at the wheel after staying up all night chatting on the phone to a woman he met on the internet.

Image caption Gary Hart served 30 months of a five-year jail term

In his first in-depth interview since the crash, the 47-year-old denied he should have been held responsible for the deaths.

He said: "The accident occurred because I was there. The same for the people that were on the train.

"They were meant to be there that morning."

He added: "As far as being asleep at the wheel, that's what I went to prison for. It's not what the truth is.

"No deaths occurred at the point of impact with my Land Rover.

"They all occurred 700 yards down the track which I feel other people should have been held accountable for, so in my own head I've dealt with it in that fashion."

'Remain sane'

Hart said he felt guilt but that he was trying to move on with his life.

"There's not a day gone by that I haven't thought about Selby."

He added: "I've absolved myself not of responsibility, but of knowing anything about them. That would degenerate my life into misery.

"I survived this accident and I want to survive the rest of my life and remain sane in some way."

Meanwhile, speaking to Radio York, Mrs Dunn said she could not forgive Hart because of what he had taken away from her and her two sons.

Mrs Dunn, whose sons James and Andrew were aged nine and 13 when the crash happened, said: "It is really for the boys' sake that I can't forgive him.

"I can't forgive what he took away from them on that day.

"As far as I am concerned he robbed me and the boys of a life. He's not getting the rest of my life."

She described telling their sons about their father's death as the "worst thing I have ever done".

She said the tragedy had left her "grieving for a future" she had lost.

"I had 15 years with Steve and two small children. It's that future that is gone.

"All your plans are out of the window, you've been robbed of that future."

Mrs Dunn said she had now remarried a man whom she met through a self-support group for widows and widowers.

The anniversary of the crash was marked by a service at St Paul's Church in Hensall near Selby.

Relatives, survivors and rail staff lit candles in remembrance of the 10 people who died.

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