Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North-East Pair in Minibus Crash

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North-East Pair in Minibus Crash

Article excerpt

Two North-East holidaymakers were in yesterday's minibus crash that killed seven people and left eight injured - two critically.

The pair, from Sunderland, were with 12 other people from across the UK, travelling towards Manchester Airport.

It is understood the people on the minibus - a hotel courtesy vehicle - were bound for the US or Mexico.

Police last night said they were still trying to contact relatives of the dead and injured.

Formal identifications are expected today.

A spokeswoman said: "Three men, one boy and three women have been confirmed as fatalities, including the 42-year-old driver, from Stretford. Two women remain in a critical condition.

"It is believed the original collision occurred between the minibus and a green Toyota Carina, not a Ford Mondeo as originally thought.

"Each of the three cars involved in the incident, the Toyota Carina, the Ford Mondeo and the Vauxhall Vectra, all had one driver and there were two passengers in the Mondeo. The people in the cars suffered shock, but no one was injured."

The accident happened at about 5.40am on the M56. The roof of the minibus - which had been towing a trailer - was ripped off and became embedded in the safety barrier, several yards away from where the minibus stopped.

More than 60 emergency personnel went to the scene.

Police said the driver was from Manchester and the 14 passengers were in five groups - one from Sunderland and the others from Herefordshire, Fife, Belfast and Leeds.

The two critically ill passengers - a woman and a teenage girl - were last night in Wythenshawe Hospital. The other six people injured were in hospitals nearer the crash scene.

Paddy O'Leary, manager of the Britannia Country House Hotel, in Didsbury, Manchester, where the holidaymakers had stayed the night before, said: "This is an awful tragedy and our deepest sympathy goes out to the friends and families of those involved."

Ian Bailey, of Greater Manchester Fire Service, said it was a "particularly harrowing scene".

Police have issued a hotline number for family and friends of the crash victims. …

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