A former professional footballer has admitted his careless driving caused the deaths of a “devoted” married couple in a horror HGV smash.
Richard and Angela Wong were killed in the motorway in September last year when Steven Bennett’s truck was involved in the multi-vehicle accident.
Mrs Wong, 56, was pronounced dead at the scene and Mr Wong, 62, died in hospital three days later, following the tragedy on the M56 in Warrington.
Bennett, who used to play as a striker for Barnsley in the Championship, was charged with causing the two deaths by dangerous driving.
On Friday, the 28-year-old former Tyke admitted causing the Wongs’ deaths by careless driving, a lesser charge.
But he denies the more serious offences.
Bennett, who played for Barnsley’s first team during their 2010/11 Championship season, will stand trial at Chester Crown Court in August, 2021.
The crash happened at 5.20pm, on Thursday, September 19 between junction 9, Warrington, and junction 10 Stretton Interchange.
Two air ambulances landed on the motorway and closed the M56 for more than 12 hours.
Last September, the Wongs’ grieving children paid tribute to their parents, who lived in Manchester, in an emotional statement.
The statement said: “Angela and Richard were loving parents and grandparents, as well as a loving brother and sister.
“They were a devoted couple who had been married for 37 years and were well loved by all those who were fortunate to have known them – they touched the hearts and enriched the lives of everyone who knew them.
“Our parents leave behind two children, two grandchildren and an extensive family and group of friends who are all devastated by their sudden loss – they will be truly missed by everyone who knew them.
“We are forever grateful to have had them as our wonderful parents – we love them very much and they will be forever in our hearts.”