4 killed as minibus collides with lorry

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The Independent Online
Four people were killed and 10 injured yesterday when a mini-bus carrying mentally handicapped adults collided with a lorry that had crashed into a railway bridge. Another two people died in a separate accident involving two lorries and a car on the M62.

The mini-bus crashed at lunchtime on the A616 at Creswell, near Clowne, in Derbyshire. Police said the vehicle, which was carrying 14 care workers and adults with learning difficulties, ploughed into the back of the lorry, which had become wedged under the bridge. It was not known last night whether the lorry had collided with a bridge support or whether the bridge was too low for the vehicle.

The injured were taken to two hospitals, the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal and the Bassetlaw District General. Four were described as "serious but stable" without life-threatening injuries; the rest suffered minor injuries. The driver of the lorry escaped unhurt.

David Allen, chairman of Derbyshire Social Services committee, said three of the dead were staff members and one was a service user.

"We have been deeply shocked," he said. "Social workers are contacting the relatives of all those involved to offer counselling and support." He said all the people on board were wearing seatbelts.

The second fatal accident happened on the trans-Pennine motorway at Milnrow, near Rochdale, when two articulated lorries and a car collided on the west-bound carriageway.

The motorway was closed while fire-crews battled for two hours to cut one of the victims from the wreckage, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to police, one of the lorries overturned and crashed into the central reservation, crushing the car. Two people were taken for treatment in Rochdale but were not thought to be seriously injured.