Double coach crash in France leaves Oxbridge skiers needing medical attention

Lucky escape for dozens of students despite side-on collision

Two coaches carrying Oxford and Cambridge students on the annual Varsity ski trip in Tignes have crashed, leaving windows shattered and passengers with minor injuries.  

The accident took place north of Dijon in the early hours of last Saturday, when the first coach skidded on black ice and collided with a road barrier. The second coach then swerved behind the first, crashing at a right angle. It is understood that no students were seriously injured in the collision.

One student at Christ Church College Oxford, who asked not be named, was a passenger on the second coach. He told The Independent: “We saw the coach ahead of us swerve and then collide with a road barrier. I could then see our coach careering towards it, but the bus driver also swerved and we ended up sliding parallel to the coach ahead, crashing side on and breaking some of the window panels.”

“I don’t think anyone was seriously injured,” he added, “I think someone broke their nose and another banged their head severely but that was it. The bus driver did a good job of steering our coach away from theirs, because it looked like we were going to crash head on at first.” 

The students were returning home at the end of the ski trip when the crash occurred and it is understood that passengers on the second coach were able to continue on their journey, while those on the first had to wait several hours on the roadside for help.

Tom Rimmer, also at Oxford, was travelling behind the coaches. He told campus newspaper The Oxford Student:  “We didn’t really know what was happening at first. We were really worried because we had waited for such a long time without information. When I heard that my friends were all right I was very relieved.

Pete Calvert, the Varsity trip's organiser, said: “As a result of extremely icy conditions, two of the coaches taking participants back to the UK were involved in a collision last night in north France; however they did not come into contact with each other. There were no serious injuries, but there are reports of one broken nose. One of the coaches had only superficial damage and was allowed to continue its journey by French police.”

“The conditions have meant that the French police closed the road for a number of hours while gritters were used to make the road safe. Passengers on the damaged coach were taken to the next services by minibus, and are being collected by our other coaches with empty seats as they go past,” he added.

It is not the first time a coach has crashed during the annual trip, in which students meet for a long weekend of skiing and partying. During the 2010 Varsity trip, a coach driver had to be cut of the wreckage of his vehicle after colliding with a lorry on the M25.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you a recent graduate loo...

Guru Careers: Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant

£16 - 20k: Guru Careers: A Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant is needed to ...

Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor