Teacher's crash claim is settled

A TEACHER left in agony following a school coach crash today thanked her colleagues and legal team after her six-figure compensation claim was settled.

A TEACHER left in agony following a school coach crash today thanked her colleagues and legal team after her six-figure compensation claim was settled.

Lucinda Rooney, of Cherry Lane Gardens, Ipswich, had been due in court in October to seek damages from coach company Cedric Garages (Wivenhoe) Ltd.

The head of technology at St Alban's RC High School said chronic pain syndrome had ruined her life following the accident on the A140 on September 17, 2001.

The 47-year-old has now accepted an out of court settlement, although specific details of the claim and settlement have not been revealed.

Mrs Rooney said: “I am pleased that Cedric Coaches have accepted liability for the coach accident and my subsequent injuries. The crash was very distressing for all the pupils and staff involved. It has been a difficult, prolonged and stressful five years for me and my family.

“I am extremely grateful for the unerring support I have received from the St Alban's school community, staff and governors, and in particular, headteacher Dennis McGarry. I am also indebted to my union ATL who enabled me to pursue the case, with the support of Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (solicitors).

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“I am glad the case has finally been settled and I am able to meet the considerable costs owed for benefits and salary I received while I was off work and all additional costs associated with my incapacity and recovery period.

“I now look forward to moving on with my life, putting the crash and court case behind me and applying my future energies to my family, the youngsters I teach and the job I love.”

Mrs Rooney and five pupils from St Alban's needed hospital treatment after the crash at the Scole roundabout and its junction with the A1066. The coach was carrying 54 teenagers and four staff returning from a day of religious reflection in Norwich.

It collided with the roundabout, veered across the road on to the verge and finally came to a halt after smashing into a chain-link fence. At the time police were investigating the possibility of brake failure.

Mrs Rooney had been a front seat passenger and was thrown out of her seat by the impact. Mrs Rooney was crushed by another passenger and treated in hospital for three days. Documents presented to the court said when she left she was in a wheelchair doubled up by pain.

Her legal team claimed she had suffered severe headaches, dizziness and blurred vision among her debilitating symptoms which she has to live with on a daily basis and affect virtually every part of her life.

The four boys and a girl who were taken to hospital sustained minor injuries.

Cedric Garages (Wivenhoe) Ltd declined to comment on the outcome of the case.

N Were any of your children involved in the crash? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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