Bus driver questioned after fatal school ski trip crash

Bus driver questioned after fatal school ski trip crash

An investigation has started into the cause of a fatal crash in northern France involving a coach carrying schoolchildren home from a half term ski trip.

Teacher Peter Rippington, 59, died and dozens of others were injured when the bus flipped over and came to rest at the bottom of an embankment in the early hours of Sunday.

Mr Rippington's wife Sharon and daughter Amy were also injured in the crash, which involved 29 pupils from Alvechurch Middle School in Worcestershire.

Four people were being treated for serious injuries. Ten people are reported to sill be in hospital.

Interski Snowsport School, the company that arranged the trip, said there were 21 adults on the coach when it crashed on the A26 at Chalons-en-Champagne near Reims.

There were two drivers on board, along with six Interski instructors and 13 adults belonging to the school party. A total of 27 people were taken to two local hospitals following the crash, with 22 of those said to have minor injuries.

The bus was owned by Solus Coaches, which is based in Tamworth, Staffordshire, and was chartered by the ski company.

Initial tests on the coach driver, who received minor injuries, showed he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and local police are believed to be investigating whether he might have fallen asleep at the wheel, according to Press Association reports.

Police in France said the driver was being questioned by police in Chalons-en-Champagne.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is investigating the accident and is providing consular assistance to those affected.

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