Lorry driver admits causing four deaths in 2021 collision on M25

Following a 2021 fatal collision in which four people died, the lorry driver who crashed into the rear of their minibus has pleaded guilty to causing their deaths.

Ethan Burdett, 67, of Ipswich Haven Marina, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to causing the death of four people due to careless driving when he appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday April 16.

Roads Policing officers were called to the collision on the M25 at Waltham Abbey shortly after 6.15pm on August 23 2021.

An investigation by the Serious Collision Investigation Unit established that Burdett had been travelling between junction 27 and junction 26. As he approached the exit slip road he failed to react to stationary traffic queuing in lane 1 and collided with the rear of the minibus which shunted forward and struck a car.

Abigael Muamba
Jennifer Smith

Of the 11 passengers in the minibus that were returning to London following a day trip to Southend, four passengers were seriously injured; three additional passengers and the driver of the car all sustained minor injuries.

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

Lisa Gardiner, 44, from Walthamstow, died later of her injuries.

The anti-clockwise section of the M25 was closed for 11 and a half hours.

Burdett will be sentenced at the same court on Thursday July 4.