Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Survivors Tell of Smash Horror

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Survivors Tell of Smash Horror

Article excerpt

Byline: By Adam Jupp

Survivors of the Jordan coach crash told today of the moments before the bus careered off the road, killing twelve passengers.

Retired Methodist minister David Driver and his wife Margaret, from Hazlerigg, survived the crash along with Gail Nichol, 60, also from Newcastle.

Graham Haslam, who organised the ill-fated trip, also spent years on Tyneside as Methodist Chaplain for Newcastle University.

David Driver, a former minister at Brunswick, Newcastle, and Ponteland Methodist churches, spoke from his hospital bed.

He said: "I can hardly believe it but I have just had a visit at my bedside from Prince Charles and King Abdullah of Jordan. The prince asked how I was doing and was very sympathetic."

Gail Nichol, 60, who taught at Gosforth High School, Newcastle, is recovering from a fractured shoulder in the King Hussein Medical Practice in Amman.

She said: "We had been at Petra. It was an incredible day. We spent the afternoon walking and there were eagles soaring. It was absolutely beautiful.

"At 10am on the morning of the accident, we had a problem with one of our tyres and went to a garage.

"Suddenly there was a bang. The coach veered across the central reservation, which was just a stony gully.

"We were being pitched about, falling into the aisles and everything. Then we must have rolled down the embankment.

"The next thing I knew is that I'm lying on the embankment so I must have been thrown out of the coach somehow, looking out of the underside of the coach.

"It was quite horrendous. It was absolute chaos. I could hear cars and lorries screeching to a halt. There was lots of shouting and running about.

"All I wanted was a drink of water but nobody could seem to understand.

"I remember thinking I must get out of here. I saw people I believed to be dead at the scene."

The Rev Terry Hurst, superintendent minister at Brunswick and deputy chairman of the Newcastle Methodist District, said: "Gail is an active member and a very active leader of the congregation and does a lot of work in community groups. …

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