Part of A3 closed again to investigate Hindhead coach crash tragedy

ACCIDENT Emergency services at the scene of the coach crash on the A3 near Hindhead in Surrey
ACCIDENT Emergency services at the scene of the coach crash on the A3 near Hindhead in Surrey

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INVESTIGATORS shut part of the A3 northbound a second time yesterday to probe the horror coach crash that left three dead.

Fifty people were also hurt when the 52-seater Merseypride coach travelling back from Bestival on the Isle of Wight left the carriageway and hit a tree near the Hindhead Tunnel.

One lane of the A3 Portsmouth Road northbound in Hindhead between the B3002 Headley Road junction and Thursley was shut for about four hours while experts examined the scene.

The stretch was reopened by about 2.30pm yesterday.

The exact cause of the crash was last night still unclear.

Meanwhile Surrey Police yesterday confirmed the dead coach driver as Colin Daulby, 63, from Merseyside.

By last night more than 1,300 people had ‘liked’ a page called R.I.P Colin Daulby set up on social networking site Facebook where heartfelt messages and photographs were posted.

The owner of the coach firm said yesterday that Mr Daulby may have had a heart attack.

Police have named the passengers who died in the smash, which happened shortly before midnight on Monday, as 18-year-old Michael Molloy, from South Liverpool, and Kerry Ogden, 23, of Maghull, Merseyside.

Tributes were paid to Mr Molloy, who was a member of the band Hostile Radio.

His mother, Frances, an NHS executive, travelled 230 miles to Surrey as she was dissatisfied with responses from helplines and police.

His brother, Liam, wrote on Twitter: ‘Michael died instantly due to head trauma. All I can really say is God really only does take the best and I’m going to miss him so much.’

In a statement Surrey Police said: ‘The deaths have now been referred to the coroner.

‘An investigation is ongoing into the circumstances surrounding the road traffic collision which happened when a 52-seater coach was travelling north and collided with a tree after leaving the carriageway at around 11.50pm.

‘A number of casualties were taken to hospitals across the south east and 11 people remain in hospital.

‘All passengers have been accounted for and a casualty reporting bureau set up to help any concerned relatives has now been closed.’

The coach was en route to Merseyside from Bestival when the crash happened.

The News understands that Mr Daulby had stayed with his sister in Portsmouth only hours before the tragedy happened.

Police are set to probe whether the coach was overloaded as part of their investigation.