Coach crash verdict of unlawful killing

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The Independent Online
NINE Americans who died when their coach crashed were unlawfully killed, an inquest jury found yesterday. The vehicle had defective brakes and a disabled speed limiter.

The verdict came as the Independent established that before November's M2 crash in Kent other vehicles in the Travellers Coach Company fleet had also had compulsory speed limiters disconnected.

Last night the coroner, Richard Sturt, asked John MacGregor, Secretary of State for Transport, for compulsory seatbelts to be considered for all coaches. He said papers would be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.

In a rider, Mr Sturt criticised coach safety systems that used single lights on the dashboard to show anti-lock brake systems were not working.

At the eight-day hearing in Dover, witnesses said the coach's brakes appeared to lock after it hit a Transit van from behind at 78mph. It skidded, struck a crash barrier and plunged down an embankment, killing the tourists and the driver, Leslie Golds, 54.

The jury returned an accidental verdict on his death.

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