Alps crash coach driver praised for saving lives

Alps crash coach driver praised for saving lives

The British coach driver who died in a crash in the French Alps has been praised for saving the lives of passengers.

The coach was carrying seasonal staff who worked for Brighton-based school trip operator Skibound, from Alpe d’Huez back to the UK.

French transport minister Frederic Cuvillier said driver Maurice Wrightson, 64, from County Durham, had displayed "remarkable courage".

He said the County Durham man had let the coach hit rocks to slow down rather than risk it going over a precipice, the BBC reported.

Three seriously injured Britons remain in hospital after the crash on Tuesday.

They were among more than 50 people who were on the coach when it crashed on a steep mountain road and burst into flames.

Cuvillier said: "The actions of some people were instrumental in avoiding what could have been a much worse situation.

"The position the coach was in shows a great effort to control it ... the coach was able to slow down rather than continue on its course and go off the edge into the ravine, which would have led to far more casualties."

Police suspect there was a problem with the vehicle's brakes, causing it to veer off its intended path, according to reports.

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