Claire Mercer Biography Claire Mercer Wiki
Jason Mercer and Alexandru Murgeanu died after being hit by a truck on the M1 smart motorway in Sheffield last year. Driver Prezemyslaw Zbigniew Szuba was jailed after his death
Claire Mercer said she does not believe that “the right person was held responsible for the deaths of her husband Jason, 44, and Alexandru Murgeanu, 22, last June.
Both were killed when they were hit by an 18-ton truck driven by Prezemyslaw Zbigniew Szuba, 40, after stopping on a road with no hard shoulder.
A court heard today that the victims entered the slow lane that has a shoulder on a normal highway and, after a “minor collision”, got out of their vehicles to share details.
Claire Mercer spoke today after Szuba was incarcerated for 10 months after admitting two cases in which she caused her death by driving without proper care and attention.
She said her husband would not die if they had a hard shoulder.
Claire Mercer said: “We do not believe that the right person is taking responsibility for these tremendously damaging effects on our lives and so many others.
“The June 7 events would not have happened if there had been a hard shoulder and Highways England had run with the right priorities and not focused on who was going to win the next big problem.
“I hope that because of this devastation there are no more lives unnecessarily destroyed.”
Since the death of her husband, Mercer has started a campaign group called Smart Motorways Kill.
She said the group has four pending lawsuits pending and “will not stop until smart roads are banned.”
Sheffield Crown Court learned today that the collision occurred on June 7 last year on the M1 Smart Highway in Sheffield, South York.
At the time of the 35 mph crash, the couple, who died immediately, were between Murgeanus’ Ford Transit and Mercer’s Ford Focus.
The court heard that 147 vehicles passed smoothly before Szuba, the father of one of them, approached from the north.
Dashboard camera footage from his truck’s cab shown in court showed the driver colliding with the two parked vehicles
Prosecutor Jeremy Evans told the court that Szuba would have up to five seconds to take evasive action, according to an incident investigator.
Dozens of other vehicles were seen in footage of the closed-loop road slowing down and entering the right lane to avoid parked vehicles.
Prosecutors said the truck was not speeding and there was no evidence that the defendant was drinking or using drugs.
The court heard there was a “safe haven,” an area that motorists can enter in an emergency, located one mile from where the victims stopped.
At the time of the fatal collision, Mercer and Murgeanu were separated by more than five minutes, Evans said.
Szuba, who is from Hull, showed up at the dock today in a suit and tie and was jailed for ten months after admitting two deaths while sailing without proper care and attention.
Judge Jeremy Richardson QC said in the verdict: “Because you were completely unconscious on the street in front of you, two men were killed who were loved by their families.
“It was reckless driving on his part.
“I have no doubt that you are the main contributor to the catastrophic accident that led to these two accusations.”
Regarding smart roads, the judge added: “I am not conducting a public inquiry into the pros or cons of smart roads.
“It seems that this type of street is controversial and has been criticized.
“Wharf was the norm on all British motorways. It served an extremely useful purpose, providing safety for all drivers on a fast highway.
“All drivers hoped they would never need it, but in an emergency it was there so a vehicle could stop, fix the problem and call for help.
“If there had been a shoulder or if the victims had walked one more mile to the shelter, this disaster would never have happened.”
Ms. Mercer’s impact statement also touched on the relationship she shared with her husband.
She said: “The loss of Jason is immeasurable, Jason was an important and distinctive part of our family, and I cannot list all the things we lost when Jason died.