A NORTH-EAST lorry driver has appeared in court accused of killing a four-year-old girl in a motorway crash.

Robert Booth, 63, was not required to enter a formal plea to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving during a short appearance before magistrates in Solihull, West Midlands.

Mr Booth, of Brockley Street, Town End Farm, Sunderland, is alleged to have caused the death of Priyanka Bhogal on the M6 near Solihull last year.

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Priyanka, from Coventry, was pronounced dead in hospital after the car she was travelling in was involved in a collision on the southbound M6 in the early hours of Sunday, November 27.

The motorway was closed near junction 4a for more than six hours while officers from the Central Motorway Police Group, Highways Agency and West Midlands fire and ambulance services dealt with the incident, which left seven other people injured.

Mr Booth, who spoke only twice during today's hearing, was granted unconditional bail to appear at Warwick Crown Court on July 24.

In a tribute issued by West Midlands Police shortly after Priyanka's death, her family said they had loved her more than anyone could possibly imagine.

In their statement, the family added: "In her short time with us she brought nothing but happiness and joy to our lives and everyone who knew her."