Bus driver arrested over fatal M5 smash

Bus driver arrested over fatal M5 smash

CARNAGE: The lorry collided with the rear of the bus

FATAL: The lorry was embedded in the bus

First published in Worcester News by , @murray_kelso

BREAKING - 4.40pm: The 49-year-old bus driver, from Birmingham, has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.

A man has been killed and two others seriously injured in a crash after a coach, believed to be taking fruit pickers to Evesham, broke down on the M5 in thick fog.

The 35-year-old man from Birimingham was killed when the bus, on which he was a passenger, and a lorry crashed near Frankley Services.

Police said one serious injury was also from the bus and the driver of the lorry was also in a serious condition.

A total of 40 people were injured in the crash.

Chief Inspector Carl Flynn, of the Central Motorway Police Group, said the bus had broken down in a "live" lane of the M5 before the accident.

Addressing a news conference at a Highways Agency control centre near the crash scene, Mr Flynn said a 999 call was made by a member of the public reporting the stranded bus about 12 minutes before the crash.

He said: "At 6.12am a 999 call was made by a concerned member of the public about a coach having broken down on lane one of the M5 south.

"The Highways Agency did the appropriate signage on the network and dispatched their resources to the scene of the broken down coach as is normal practice.

"However, unfortunately at 6.24am a further call was received to say that a large goods vehicle had collided into the rear of the coach.

"Central Motorway police officers were immediately dispatched and arrived at the scene six minutes later and then assisted colleagues from the Highways Agency, the ambulance service and fire service to manage the scene."

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the incident on the southbound carriageway of the motorway between junctions 3 and 4.

Six ambulances, three ambulance officers, the rust’s Hazardous Area Response Team, three BASICS (British Association of Immediate Care Schemes) doctors, a medical incident officer doctor and two patient transport vehicles were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “On arrival at the scene crews found a coach and a lorry that had been in collision.

“A total of 40 adults were assessed and treated on scene. Twenty-seven of those have now been conveyed to hospitals around the region including Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, City Hospital, Alexandra Hospital and Sandwell Hospital.

“Unfortunately one patient, believed to have been travelling on the coach at the time of the incident, was confirmed deceased at the scene.”

The motorway was re-opened yesterday, police confirmed.

Comments (8)

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12:40pm Sat 24 Mar 12

Gillian1961 says...

I have just seen the pitcures on the bbc hereford and worcester site, I am a qualified Mini-bus driver, we were told if we broke down on the motor way to get the passengers out and sit them on the bank etc away from the motorway
I have just seen the pitcures on the bbc hereford and worcester site, I am a qualified Mini-bus driver, we were told if we broke down on the motor way to get the passengers out and sit them on the bank etc away from the motorway Gillian1961
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Sat 24 Mar 12

Jabbadad says...

This particular stretch of motorway is prone to fog.
And particularly when the motorway lights are turned off late at night to save money, the glare from headlights of oncoming Traffic driving on full beam is very dangerous.
This particular stretch of motorway is prone to fog. And particularly when the motorway lights are turned off late at night to save money, the glare from headlights of oncoming Traffic driving on full beam is very dangerous. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Sat 24 Mar 12

moonpig says...

I am confused as to why the bus driver has been arrested for dangerous driving when the coach had broken down? I agree Gillian1961 that in an ideal situation you should get the passengers out and away from the vehicle but this may not have been possible if the coach was stranded in a 'live lane' as the reports states. When you break down within roadworks you are usually told to stay in your vehicle.
I am confused as to why the bus driver has been arrested for dangerous driving when the coach had broken down? I agree Gillian1961 that in an ideal situation you should get the passengers out and away from the vehicle but this may not have been possible if the coach was stranded in a 'live lane' as the reports states. When you break down within roadworks you are usually told to stay in your vehicle. moonpig
  • Score: 0

8:20pm Sat 24 Mar 12

evesham-born&bred says...

perhaps if in the 12 minutes between phone calls and 6 minute police response time asks the question why the police did not attened straight away considering the conditions???? could the accident have been avoided and lives not lost??? cutbacks again!!!
perhaps if in the 12 minutes between phone calls and 6 minute police response time asks the question why the police did not attened straight away considering the conditions???? could the accident have been avoided and lives not lost??? cutbacks again!!! evesham-born&bred
  • Score: 0

8:53pm Sat 24 Mar 12

b1ackb1rd says...

Nothing to do with cutbacks.
If I was a passenger in a vehicle broken down on a motorway I would be out of it and up the bank ...and way behind the vehicle in case someone hits it and shunts it in my direction!
We are all way too complacent, motorways are bloody dangerous places.
My thoughts are with the families of those involved
Nothing to do with cutbacks. If I was a passenger in a vehicle broken down on a motorway I would be out of it and up the bank ...and way behind the vehicle in case someone hits it and shunts it in my direction! We are all way too complacent, motorways are bloody dangerous places. My thoughts are with the families of those involved b1ackb1rd
  • Score: 0

5:00pm Sun 25 Mar 12

Keith B says...

How can a driver who is stationery (and has been for at least 12 minutes beforehand) be arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving?

The police seem to arrest as a matter of course rather than on any merit of somebody committing an offence.

Very sad people have died but breaking down is not an offence - it's just something that happens.

Is this yet another case of ambulance chasing lawyers looking for somebody to blame so they can make a claim and the police colluding with them to do so.
How can a driver who is stationery (and has been for at least 12 minutes beforehand) be arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving? The police seem to arrest as a matter of course rather than on any merit of somebody committing an offence. Very sad people have died but breaking down is not an offence - it's just something that happens. Is this yet another case of ambulance chasing lawyers looking for somebody to blame so they can make a claim and the police colluding with them to do so. Keith B
  • Score: 0

10:29pm Sun 25 Mar 12

uptonX says...

The bus driver had a legal obligation and a duty of care to inform the authorities he was causing an obstruction, in all probability with no lights. All he had to do was pick up the emergency phone that is every hundred yards. Not doing that caused the death of the lorry driver and the bus passenger, that is why he will be prosecuted. It may be that the bus driver didn't speak English or had other reasons for not wanting the police to attend, if so I'm sure that will be reported in due course.
The bus driver had a legal obligation and a duty of care to inform the authorities he was causing an obstruction, in all probability with no lights. All he had to do was pick up the emergency phone that is every hundred yards. Not doing that caused the death of the lorry driver and the bus passenger, that is why he will be prosecuted. It may be that the bus driver didn't speak English or had other reasons for not wanting the police to attend, if so I'm sure that will be reported in due course. uptonX
  • Score: 0

2:26pm Mon 26 Mar 12

MrWXYZ says...

uptonX the police were aware 12 mins before and as evesham-born&bred points out police arrived within 6 mins of being despatched.
Surely the failure to despatch police immediately to a breakdown in roadworks and fog is a bigger cause than not making a phone call they already knew about?
Or if the highways agency did appropriate signage and the lorry still ploughed into the coach, a phone calls not going to stop that
uptonX the police were aware 12 mins before and as evesham-born&bred points out police arrived within 6 mins of being despatched. Surely the failure to despatch police immediately to a breakdown in roadworks and fog is a bigger cause than not making a phone call they already knew about? Or if the highways agency did appropriate signage and the lorry still ploughed into the coach, a phone calls not going to stop that MrWXYZ
  • Score: 0

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