Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'I'll Never Get on the Top Deck of a Bus Again' Pupils Relive Crash Horror as Driver Walks Free from Court

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'I'll Never Get on the Top Deck of a Bus Again' Pupils Relive Crash Horror as Driver Walks Free from Court

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE BARLEY

PASSENGERS on a college bus which had its roof ripped off under a bridge spoke of their ordeal as its driver was given a suspended prison sentence.

The double-decker's top deck crashed into a railway bridge in Darlington as it carried Stockton teenagers to Queen Elizabeth's Sixth Form College in Darlington.

Trevor Wilson yesterday appeared at Darlington Magistrates' Court for sentencing, having previously admitted a charge of dangerous driving.

The court heard how he failed to spot four "low bridge" warning signs - as well as one on the bridge.

The bus belonged to Compass Royston for whom Wilson had worked two years.

One student suffered a broken collarbone and 11 others needed hospital treatment. Charlotte Hayes had three cuts to her hand and strained her back as a result of the accident.

She said: "I am still shook up about it and I will never get on the top of a double-decker bus again."

Since the accident, pupils have travelled on a single-decked bus from the same firm.

"I think we would all refuse to get on a double-decked one," said Charlotte. 17, from Stockton.

Lucy Kitching, 16, of Durham Road, Stockton, said: "We all saw it coming. We ducked immediately and then there was a lot of noise - of the metal crashing and people screaming."

Simon Walker, mitigating for Wilson, read a letter to the court from Jacqueline Kitching, Lucy's grandmother, which stated there had almost been a similar incident the day before the crash when a bus almost hit another bridge. …

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