Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Crash driver 'had coughing fit'

Police at are the scene of a 'very serious' accident near a South Wales primary school
Police at are the scene of a 'very serious' accident near a South Wales primary school

A car crash outside a primary school which left nine people injured, including five children, was caused by the driver having a coughing fit at the wheel and hitting the wrong pedal, a councillor said.

The injured, also thought to include a lollipop lady, were taken to two hospitals following the collision near Rhoose Primary School in the Vale of Glamorgan, which happened as children were arriving for lessons.

The 61-year-old driver of the Audi involved in the collision, who was among those injured, is currently assisting South Wales Police with their investigation into what a force spokesman said "was not believed to be a deliberate act".

Councillor Jeffrey James, who was at the scene soon after the crash and spoke with emergency services staff, said: "The driver has apparently said he had a coughing fit and hit the accelerator instead of the brake and lurched, hitting the crossing attendant and the children waiting to cross or starting to cross.

"He must have swerved and then tipped over the car. It was on its roof."

Earlier, a lollipop stick lay on the ground near a pelican crossing at the scene, where the Audi landed on its roof on the pavement, sandwiched between a green car and a line of trees. Various pieces of clothing were strewn across the pavement.

Four children with head and/or abdomen injuries and two adults with fractures were taken to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, while two adults and another child, all with minor injuries, were taken to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, a Welsh Ambulance Service spokesman said.

Mr James, who represents Rhoose on Vale of Glamorgan Council, added: "I actually spoke to an ambulance representative on site and he advised me that while the injuries were serious in some cases none were life threatening."

Vale of Glamorgan Tory MP Alun Cairns wrote on Twitter: "A terrible incident has taken place in Rhoose. My heart goes out to those affected. I am liaising with police over communication and support."

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