Coach owner found guilty following serious injury of young rugby player
Posted: 27th May 2015
Posted in: Bus Accidents Public Transport Road Traffic Accidents
The owner of a coach company has been found guilty of dangerous driving offences after a young boy fell out of a vehicle onto the motorway. The coach had been taking a youth rugby team to a game on 16 May 2014 when one of the passengers, a 13-year-old boy, leaned on a “defective” emergency door and fell out of the vehicle.
It was heard in the Bristol Crown Court that the emergency exit door on Keith Jones’s coach was highly unsafe, and recorder Malcolm Gibney warned Mr Jones that “he might consider a custodial sentence” on 25 June. The driver of the coach, 63-year-old Tudor West, was also found guilty of dangerous driving which is believed to have caused the boy to lean on the emergency exit door.
Door could be opened by a very light touch
During Friday’s trial Mr West said that he checked the emergency exit door in the morning of the accident. Inspectors, however, said that the door could be opened by a very light touch and was very obviously “defective”. It was also heard that an MOT test, carried out on the vehicle a month before the incident, found the panels and wing mirror on one side of the coach to be held together by masking tape.
The 13-year-old boy suffered a broken wrist in the accident. His father said: “He appeared to be unconscious – we thought because of the mess he was in he wasn’t going to survive”.
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