School bus driver guilty over crash

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A school bus driver who crashed into a low bridge because he "forgot" he was at the wheel of a double-decker was convicted of dangerous driving yesterday.

About 50 children were on the way to school in Chester in April last year when Robert Bush drove the vehicle into the bridge, tearing off the roof "like a tin can". None of the pupils was seriously injured, but many were left shocked, bruised and suffering whiplash.

Bush told the trial at Chester Crown Court that he hit the 12ft-high bridge because he normally drove a 57-seater coach to Upton High School and forgot his new vehicle was taller.

David Potter, for the prosecution, said Bush had passed three "low bridge" warning signs and had ignored the screams of children on the upper deck. He said it was "fortunate" that most of the children on the top deck were sitting at the rear of the vehicle.

In a statement read to the court, one pupil recounted that when the driver diverted from the normal route pupils were shouting and screaming: "Where is he going?"

He said: "There was a loud bang and the roof that was directly over our heads at the back of the bus began to slide back like the lid of a dominoes box."

Bush, from Windermere, Cumbria, will be sentenced next month. Judge Roger Dutton warned him that he could be jailed.