Tributes paid to Bestival coach crash victim

 

The family of a teenager who died when a coach crashed on its way back from the Bestival music festival said today it had lost a “beautiful son and a beautiful person”.

Michael Molloy, 18, died when the vehicle he was a passenger in left the A3 in Surrey late on Monday night and collided with a tree.

Mr Molloy, from Woolton, south Liverpool, was a member of the aspiring Liverpool-based band Hostile Radio.

In the statement released by Surrey Police, the family said: "Michael was a talented musician who had a promising career ahead of him.

"He was a beautiful son and a beautiful person, both inside and out, the kindest and sincerest heart we've ever known.

"We never imagined we would lose the most perfect son and brother. We are totally devastated."

The driver of the coach, Colin Daulby, 63, from Warrington, also died in the accident along with another passenger, who has not yet been named by police.

The vehicle was returning to Merseyside from the Bestival event on the Isle of Wight with mainly young people on board when it careered off the road and hit a tree near Hindhead, Surrey, just before midnight.

It left the A3 on a bend between the Hindhead tunnel and the exit for Thursley and hit an oak tree on an embankment.

All 50 survivors from the crash were taken to hospital, many of them with serious "life-changing" injuries, Surrey Police said.

Eleven casualties remain in hospital today.

No other vehicles were involved and officers are working to establish whether the coach may have been overloaded as part of their investigation, as despite there appearing to be 53 people on board, the vehicle only had 51 passenger seats.

The deaths have now been referred to the coroner, a police spokesman said.

"An investigation is ongoing into the circumstances surrounding the road traffic collision," he said.

"All passengers have been accounted for and a Casualty Reporting Bureau set up to help any concerned relatives has now been closed."

The badly-damaged coach was removed from the scene last night.

Police said neither the road conditions nor the weather was thought to be a factor in the crash and the 16-year-old coach had only been on the road for around an hour after leaving Portsmouth.

Mr Daulby, was described by his neighbours in Warrington as an "all-round good guy".

Tom McLoughlin said: "We're all in shock. This is a close-knit street and everyone knew Colin.

"I had known him for 20-odd years and spoke to him only the other day.

"He was a very good neighbour, an all-round good guy."

The coach was operated by the company Merseypride Travel. Its owner David Hannell said he and his staff were "devastated" and offered their "heartfelt sympathy" to all the families of the passengers involved.

One of those believed to be seriously injured was Juice FM DJ Chris McGee, but the Liverpool radio station refused to comment last night.

PA

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