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Police name woman, 82, who died when bus smashed into bank

Published 08/07/2016

The scene in Darlington where an elderly female pedestrian died after a bus crashed into a Halifax bank branch
The scene in Darlington where an elderly female pedestrian died after a bus crashed into a Halifax bank branch

A woman killed when she was trapped under a bus that smashed into a bank in Darlington has been named.

Eileen Brennan, 82, died after the Arriva bus crashed into the front of a branch of the Halifax in Darlington.

A bus driver arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving was earlier bailed.

The collision in Northgate on Thursday brought the middle of the bustling market town to a standstill.

Shoppers were kept away from the scene and screens were put up to stop people from seeing the recovery operation.

Durham Police said two other people were injured, a man with minor injuries who has been discharged from hospital and a woman with more serious injuries.

The force described her condition as stable and said she was being treated at James Cook University Hospital.

Chief Inspector Graham Milne said the 52-year-old driver would be bailed until mid-August pending further inquiries.

He said: "We would like to reiterate what was said yesterday, our sympathy and thoughts remain with the lady's family and friends and the wider community who witnessed this horrific incident.

"I would personally like to thank the businesses in the area who assisted the emergency services during the incident and the public who have come forward and spoken to us. All of this has helped us greatly piece together the circumstances of this collision."

The force said a post-mortem examination on the victim, who was from Darlington, was taking place and a report is being prepared for the coroner.

Paul Frazer, 34, who works for Primark, had just finished his shift and had caught the bus heading to his Darlington home.

He said: "As soon as I sat down the bus jolted forward. It felt like a whoosh, such a fast speed."

Police said the bus went about 20 yards across the road, hitting a pillar of the bank close to its door.

Passengers were helped off the bus through the emergency exit by a Polish passer-by, said Mr Frazer, who was reassuring an elderly woman on the vehicle who looked close to tears.

He said: "I just want to say thank you to everyone who helped me off. My emotions were running high. It was a scary ordeal."

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