Two still critical after fatal coach crash on M25

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The Independent Online

Two female passengers remained critically ill in hospital yesterday after a coach crashed and overturned on a motorway, killing five people and injuring 40.

Two female passengers remained critically ill in hospital yesterday after a coach crashed and overturned on a motorway, killing five people and injuring 40.

The driver and his wife were among those who died when the single-decker vehicle veered off the M25 in Buckinghamshire and flipped on to its side on an embankment at 11pm on Saturday. One woman was still in intensive care at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, while the other was in a critical condition at Hillingdon Hospital.

The nine-year-old, 57-seater coach, owned by WR Spring & Son of Evesham, was carrying two drivers and 43 passengers. It was returning to Worcestershire from a day trip to Boulogne after setting out at 5am, picking up passengers in Evesham, Badsey, Wickhamford and Pershore.

The dead were the driver, Christopher Sloane, his wife, Karen, the relief driver, Graham Spring, 56, and two passengers. Everyone else on board was injured.

Adrian Jones, 39, a passenger from Evesham, said he felt lucky to escape with cuts and bruises."The coach just swerved across. I don't actually remember it going across, I just remember it going down the embankment," he said. "I was just thrown around inside the coach with my wife, then it finally came to a standstill. People were screaming. Those of us that could jumped through the skylight and helped the injured out."

Lord Janner of Braunstone, who called for the compulsory use of front seatbelts in cars before legislation was introduced in 1983, is launching a campaign to make the installation and use of seatbelts in coaches a legal requirement. He said he would raise the matter in the Lords today and will be writing to the Transport Secretary, Alistair Darling."The rules which apply to seatbelts in cars should be extended to coaches before more precious lives are unnecessarily lost," he said.

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