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'We thought we'd die in road crash'

The guitarist of an American rock band whose tour bus plunged down a viaduct has described the incident in graphic detail, blaming a brake failure for the crash.

Baroness band member John Baizley was on board the German-registered coach when it crashed through a safety barrier in torrential rain and fell 30ft on August 15.

He said no one can believe they survived the impact in his first statement since the crash which was posted on the band's website.

Baizley suffered a badly broken arm and leg when he was thrown into the windscreen of the coach.

The band, from Savannah in Georgia, were on the British leg of their European tour travelling from Bristol to a gig in Southampton.

The coach, carrying nine people, left the road at the junction of Brassknocker Hill and the A36 near Bath, Somerset, at around 11.30am.

Baizley said: "The brakes in our bus failed completely on an incredibly steep, 12%-grade hill in Monkton Combe. Our bus went entirely out of control, and we had no choice other than hitting a perpendicular guardrail going about 50mph at the bottom of the hill.

"The guardrail and the 20 or 30 trees we ploughed through snapped like matchsticks as we went fully airborne and fell down more than 30 feet off of a viaduct to the ground below.

"I was up front with our driver and I bore witness to the entire thing. Once our brakes failed, the bus could do little more than gain momentum and plummet down the hill.

"There was nothing anyone on the bus could have done during our descent to avoid the crash, and no one, the local residents, the police or any of us can believe we survived the impact."


From Belfast Telegraph