Teenager orphaned by motorway crash

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The Independent Online

A teenage boy who survived a horrific minibus crash on a motorway near Manchester on Thursday lost both his parents and his younger brother in the accident.

Richard McCoig-Lees, 15, from Ledbury in Herefordshire, was one of eight holidaymakers who survived when the minibus they were travelling in collided with a car and crashed into the central reservation of the M56 at 5.40am.

Seven people, including the boy's parents, Martin and Denise McCoig-Lees, and his brother Ryan, 9, were killed. All four had been on their way to Manchester airport to catch a flight to Florida.

The teenager's elder brother Matthew, 19, a student at Manchester University, is at Richard's bedside.

The boy's headteacher said the school was "shocked and upset" by the crash and spoke of the close community in Ledbury. Chris Tweedale, head of John Masefield High School, said: "Ledbury is a small town and we all feel a sense of loss and sadness."

Police are examining CCTV pictures to try to establish what caused the crash. One theory is that the minibus driver, who was killed, lost control after clipping a car he was overtaking. The minibus overturned and its roof was ripped off when it hit a crash barrier.

The accident also tore apart a family of three on their way to Mexico. Duncan Boniface, 47, from Dunfermline, died in the crash. His wife, Gillian, 41, remains critically ill in hospital and the couple's daughter, Ami, 14, was said to be serious but stable yesterday.

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