Bestival coach crash: Vehicle involved in accident that killed three people was carrying more passengers than permitted - Home News - UK - The Independent

Bestival coach crash: Vehicle involved in accident that killed three people was carrying more passengers than permitted

The coach driver and two passengers were declared dead at the scene, while a fourth person was airlifted to hospital with 'life changing injuries'.

A coach involved in a crash which left three people including its driver dead while returning from a music festival was carrying more passengers than permitted, police said tonight.

The 16-year-old coach, which had a capacity to carry 52 people including its driver, had 53 individuals on board when it left the A3 near Hindhead in Surrey at 11.50pm last night and smashed into an oak tree on an embankment.

Investigators were last night trying to establish whether the extra passenger could have been a factor in the collision. The coach, operated by Liverpool company MerseyPride, had been chartered to bring home a group who attended this weekend’s Bestival event on the Isle of Wight.

A Surrey Police spokeswoman said: “The coach involved in the collision had 51 seats, excluding the driver. At this time, 53 people have been accounted for.”

Emergency workers were confronted with terrible scenes when they arrived at the accident site north of the Hindhead tunnel. Police said some passengers had suffered “life-changing” injuries and were expected to lose limbs as a result of the impact.

Many of those on board were asleep as the coach made its way north after crossing by ferry from the Isle of Wight to Portsmouth. A fleet of ambulances was used to bring the injured to six hospitals across south England, of which up to 23 walking wounded were later discharged.

The driver, who was today named as 60-year-old Colin Daulby, and two passengers were declared dead at the scene while a fourth badly-injured passenger was airlifted to hospital in Southampton.

Inspector Richard Mallett, of Surrey Police said: “Some people were unconscious when they were taken away. We believe some people might lose limbs and certainly there are some life-changing injuries amongst the survivors.”

Mr Daulby, from Warrington, was semi-retired and is understood to have started working for MerseyPride in the last six months. The company said it did not expect that driver fatigue had played a role in the tragedy since Mr Daulby had been staying with his sister in Portsmouth during the festival and had a “good rest”.

David Hannell, the company’s owner, said: “We ourselves are devastated. I’ve been up all night worried sick about what’s been happening. Colin was ideal for us because his sister lived in Portsmouth so he had somewhere to stay.  So it wasn’t as if he had to drive down the day before, he was already there and according to his sister he was well rested.”

The road, one of the busiest in the south, remained closed for much of today while investigators dealt with the aftermath of the collision. Two of the bodies of the deceased remained inside the coach until mid-afternoon because they were trapped in the wreckage.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident, which is understood to have destroyed much of the front of the coach. Police last night ruled out the state of the dual carriageway or driving conditions as a cause of the crash.

Insp Mallett said: “We don’t think that the road conditions or the weather were a factor in this.”

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Manager (retail, upgrades, rollouts)

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...

Project Manager (upgrades, rollouts, migrations)

£350 - £425 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project Manager - 3 mont...

IT Administrator - Graduate

£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

Year 4 Teacher

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Year 4 Teacher - NestonRandsta...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week