Friday 22 September 2017

Coach driver arrested following 30-car pile up released on bail

Cars are removed from a multiple car crash on the M40 motorway near Bicester, Oxfordshire (Steve Parsons/PA Wire)
Cars are removed from a multiple car crash on the M40 motorway near Bicester, Oxfordshire (Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

A coach driver who was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving following yesterday's fatal M1 collision has been released.

Three men travelling in an Audi A3 died - the driver, a man in his 50s from London, and two men in their 20s who were returning to their Buckinghamshire homes following a night out in the capital, Bedfordshire Police said.

A third passenger, also in his 20s, is in a critical but stable condition at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford following surgery.

Police said the coach driver has been released on unconditional bail to return to police headquarters custody suite in Kempston in May.

Cars are removed from a multiple car crash on the M40 motorway near Bicester, Oxfordshire (Steve Parsons/PA Wire)
Cars are removed from a multiple car crash on the M40 motorway near Bicester, Oxfordshire (Steve Parsons/PA Wire)
Cars are removed from a multiple car crash on the M40 motorway near Bicester, Oxfordshire (Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

The double-decker coach collided with a stationary car on the hard shoulder on the M1 near Flitwick.

The killed men's next of kin have are being supported by specially trained family liaision officers from Bedfordshire Police.

None of the victims will be named until formal identification has taken place and inquests are opened and adjourned, which will be early next week.

Nobody on the coach, which was travelling from Kent with a group of 60 women and three men in their late teens and early 20s, was hurt.

Read more: Four dead in fatal 30-car pile up on UK motorway

Police continue to appeal for witnesses to the collision, which happened on the northbound hard shoulder of the M1 between junction 12 and 13 at 6.46am yesterday.

The road was closed for several hours.

A total of four people were killed in motorway crashes yesterday as families hit the roads for half-term breaks.

The two fatal crashes happened within an hour of each other and caused traffic to come to a virtual standstill.

A 40 vehicle pile-up in thick fog on the M40 in Oxfordshire left one man dead, another person fighting for life and injured 40 more.

A Thames Valley Police spokeswoman said that the man who died in the M40 accident was aged 65 and from Woking in Surrey.

She added that one man who was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, in a critical condition, was now in a stable condition and remained in hospital.

Two further people remain in hospital, both in stable conditions, she added.

Sergeant Ashley Hannibal, from the serious collision investigation unit, said: "An investigation into this large-scale collision, in which a man sadly lost his life, was launched yesterday and is continuing.

"The scene is in the process of being digitally reconstructed to enable investigating officers to establish the positions of the vehicles involved and to piece together the circumstances which resulted in the collision.

"I would like to continue to appeal for witnesses to the collision and to anyone who saw what happened and who has not already spoken to the police, to call us on our non-emergency number 101.

"Witnesses who have left their details with police will be contacted in due course so that their accounts can be obtained."

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