Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Driver held over fatal coach crash

Police arrested the coach driver and he remains in police custody

The driver of a coach that crashed killing two women continues to be questioned on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

The coach was carrying more than 50 passengers on what is believed to be an Age Concern trip to the popular seaside town of Looe in Cornwall when it careered into a hedge on the A387 at Morval, at around 1pm yesterday, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

A woman died at the scene while a second woman was taken by air ambulance to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth but was pronounced dead on arrival, police said.

Seven other passengers were seriously injured and four walking wounded were also treated after the coach crashed on the winding road, a South West Ambulance Service (SWAS) spokesman said.

Police arrested the driver, a 57-year-old man from Exeter, yesterday afternoon. He remains in police custody, officers said this morning .

A police spokesman said: " Police investigating the fatal coach collision can confirm the driver of the coach, a 57-year-old man from Exeter, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He has been taken into police custody at Launceston.

"The bus was operated by Carmel and police believe it was being used for a trip organised by Age Concern from Exmouth."

Photographs taken at the scene show some of the coach's distinctive blue and red seats lying across the road.

Three air ambulances, one from Cornwall and two from Devon, flew to the crash site to tend to the passengers.

All seven seriously injured were taken to Derriford Hospital, while other p assengers were taken to a nearby village hall where four walking wounded were treated and tea and coffee was handed out.

Roberta Powley, who lives in the nearby village of No Man's Land, said she had been told the coach had been taking pensioners on a trip to Looe when it crashed near the Snooty Fox country hotel.

Mrs Powley said: "I think they were all OAPs on a trip. they were heading down to Looe. They have opened up what used to be the Memorial Hall in Morval and giving them tea and coffee.

"I was told the coach crashed at the Snooty Fox, and that is up a very steep hill going down into Looe."

The coach was travelling towards Looe from the direction of Plymouth, between Sandplace and Widegates, when it crashed.

In a statement the coach firm said: "Carmel Coaches extends our deepest sympathies to those involved in [Tuesday's] accident.

"We are co-operating with the authorities in the investigation of this tragic event."

A survivor of the crash has spoken of the "terrible" scenes she witnessed.

Enid Goldup told BBC Spotlight: "When our coach hit the trees at the side all the glass came in all down the side there.

"There were glass shards everywhere. We were in the seat in front of the back seat and the lady in the corner, of course she died.

"Oh, it was really horrible, it was terrible."

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