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School bus driver jailed for crashing double-decker bus carrying 74 pupils on Hampshire railway bridge | UK News

A school bus driver was sentenced to three years in prison for crashing into a double-decker train on a railway bridge, injuring 41 children, three of them seriously.

Martin Walker has pleaded guilty to three counts of causing dangerous driving injuries in the crash of September 10 last year.

He was driving 74 pupils aged 11 to 16 at Henry Beaufort School in Winchester, Hampshire, when he hit the bridge, tearing the roof off the bus.

School children after bus crash in Winchester
School children after bus crash in Winchester

Judge Angela Morris sentenced Walker, 37, to Winchester Crown Court on Friday.

She told him, “The entire roof of the bus was effectively cut off by your actions, with the result that these students on the upper deck were left with varying degrees of injury and trauma.

“It is clear that many of these young passengers were injured, traumatized and upset that morning.

“As for the three students who suffered the most serious injuries, it is clear that each of them has been permanently marked, both physically and emotionally, as a result of your dangerous behavior.”

Prosecutor Nicholas Cotter told the court that Walker, who was a Stagecoach employee, first took the route when he took a wrong turn without realizing it.

He then drove the 13-foot-11-inch-high bus under the 12-foot bridge at Wellhouse Lane at a speed of 10 mph.

Mr Cotter said: “He is an experienced man who should have known the size of his vehicle and the responsibilities he had to drive it.

The scene on Well House Lane in Winchester after three children were taken to hospital with serious injuries while 13 others suffered minor injuries after the school bus they were traveling in crashed into a road bridge of iron.
Three children were seriously injured in the crash

“The defendant apparently ignored the height restriction signage that was in place en route to the bridge.”

He added that a number of students noticed they were going the wrong way and “expressed their concerns”, and some of them started shouting that the bus was not going …

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This notice was published: 2021-07-09 15:38:00

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