Police to question coach-crash driver faces police questioned

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The Independent Online
The driver of the coach involved in the crash on Wednesday in which eight people died will be interviewed today by police over possible driving offences related to the accident.

Phil Crisp, the driver, was yesterday at the bedside of his pregnant wife, Claire, and two-year-old son Tristan who are both recovering from injuries suffered in the crash, and police were unable to interview him fully. He suffered only minor injuries and neither his wife nor son were very seriously injured, although his wife has undergone surgery for a damaged vertebra.

Police confirmed last night that Mr Crisp - who had only worked for Lewis Coaches, the vehicle owners, for a week before the accident - was fully insured, even though he was only aged 24 and not 30 as originally stated. The firm had arranged special cover as normally only drivers aged 25 or over are covered by general policies.

Chief Inspector Doug Warren, in charge of the crash scene, said the initial task was to prepare a report for the coroner: "If a criminal aspect is revealed during the course of the inquiry then papers will be prepared for the Crown Prosecution Service - but that could be some considerable time, possibly months."

Two social workers who organised the coach trip were among the eight victims of the accident which occurred at a roundabout near Raglan in Gwent. They were Derek Broadstock, 44, and Christine Extence, 45, who were both with Mid Glamorgan care staff taking people with mental health problems on the trip to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Five other victims, all from the Aberdare area, were named as: Karen Hedges, 38; Gwyneth Isaac, 79; Mair Parry, 63; Beryl Miles, 61; and Colin Scrivens, 38. An eighth victim, a woman in her 40s, has still not been positively identified. Of the 32 passengers injured, six were last night described as "critical".