Bridge crash bus driver sacked

A BUS driver who smashed his double decker into a low bridge after misjudging its height has been sacked by his red-faced bosses.First Eastern Counties dismissed the driver after an investigation into the crash and a subsequent disciplinary hearing.

A BUS driver who smashed his double decker into a low bridge after misjudging its height has been sacked by his red-faced bosses.

First Eastern Counties dismissed the driver after an investigation into the crash and a subsequent disciplinary hearing.

Today the company revealed it had felt there was no other option but to dismiss the driver after he made such a grave error.

The crash happened on May 28 when the driver attempted to drive the 14ft double decker under the 13ft railway bridge in Bramford. Two teenage girls on the upper deck of the bus were left bleeding and bruised after the roof was crushed and other passengers were left terrified and shaken.

The company was quick to apologise to the passengers and pledged a full investigation would probe how the crash happened.

That investigation suggested that it was solely caused by driver error because both the bridge and the bus had signs warning of their height.

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Philip Seago, operations director at First Eastern Counties, said: “We deeply regret the concern this will have caused our passengers.

“We have the strictest safety procedures in operation and our training should have prevented this ever happening.

“We have taken the necessary disciplinary action and have reinforced this safety point with all our drivers.”

First Eastern Counties has revealed the driver was experienced and had previously had a good record with the company.

He was familiar with the route he was driving but it was only fit for a single decker bus. He had made trips on the route earlier in the day in a single decker and mistakenly took the same route later in the day despite this time being behind the wheel of a double decker.

There were about a dozen people aboard the bus when it crashed into the bridge. First Eastern Counties stressed all its drivers were trained about road hazards as a fundamental when they are first employed and drivers also undertake refresher courses.

The company has now reminded drivers about their responsibilities to take extra care to avoid similar crashes.

Weblink: www.firstgroup.com

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