Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Coach overturns on seaside day trip

The coach crashed on the M5 near Dursley, Gloucestershire

A trip to the seaside for a group of children could have turned into a tragedy when a coach crashed and overturned on a motorway.

The youngsters and accompanying adults were on their way to the Somerset resort of Weston super Mare for the day when their coach crashed on the southbound carriageway of the M5 in Gloucestershire today.

Six people - one child and five adults - suffered minor injuries during the incident between Junctions 13 and 14, near Dursley.

The South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust described the casualties as "walking wounded", with the driver of the coach suffering a back injury.

The child was taken to Bristol Children's Hospital while the adults were transported to Southmead Hospital.

The group had been picked up from a children's centre in West Bromwich, West Midlands, and were due to spend the day at the seaside.

Police said the vehicle, from Stourbridge-based Prospect Coaches Ltd, left the carriageway and overturned in a ditch.

Gloucestershire Police said 53 passengers were on board when the accident happened.

"Police were called shortly before 10 am after a southbound coach left the M5, overturned and landed in a ditch at J13," a force spokesman said.

"Fifty-four people, believed to be of various ages, were on board, including the driver. Transport is being laid on to convey the passengers from the scene."

Passengers were also helped by volunteers from the British Red Cross.

Matthew Johnson, 25, said: "Our role has been providing practical support by providing nappies for babies and help warming up babies' bottles as well as teas and coffees for those involved.

"We've also had a couple of our volunteers providing emotional support because it's been quite a distressing incident so we set aside a quiet space so people could come and have a chat with our volunteers over a cup of tea and get things off their chests."

When not volunteering with the Red Cross, Mr Johnson is an IT consultant from the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.

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