Southampton bus driver admits dangerous driving after children injured in Winchester bridge crash

A BUS driver has pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving after his double-decker crashed into a railway bridge in an incident which left three children with ‘life-changing’ injuries.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 12:09 pm
The scene on Wellhouse Lane in Winchester after three children were taken to hospital with serious injuries while 12 others suffered minor injuries after the school bus they were travelling in crashed into a railway bridge. PA Photo. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Martin Walker entered his pleas at Winchester Crown Court in connection with the crash, which involved a bus taking 74 pupils aged 11 to 16 to Henry Beaufort School in Winchester on September 10 last year.

The 36-year-old, from Southampton, pleaded guilty to three charges of causing injury by dangerous driving.

Neil Fitzgibbon, defending, said: ‘He has no previous convictions and he has an unblemished record with Stagecoach.

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The bus. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

‘He is consumed with remorse at what happened.’

Mr Fitzgibbon requested probation reports be prepared on Walker, including an assessment for learning difficulties.

The judge, Recorder Don Tait, warned Walker that he could face a custodial sentence.

He said: ‘You have pleaded guilty to three very serious offences, you will in due course receive the appropriate credit for pleading guilty at this hearing.

‘I am prepared to adjourn this case until July 9 for pre-sentence and any other reports that the court may require.

‘These are serious offences and all options will be open to the sentencing court in due course. These options will include immediate custody.’

A previous hearing was told the charges related to three children who suffered ‘life-changing facial injuries’.

Another 12 children suffered minor injuries in the crash in Wellhouse Lane which ripped the roof off the bus.

Walker was released on unconditional bail to be sentenced on July 9.

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