One dead in Alps coach crash

Reports from the Alps say that one person has been killed and several seriously injured in a coach crash in the French Alps.

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  1. Tyne Tees

Crash driver hailed a hero

The bus driver who died in a crash in the Alps has been hailed a hero. The driver, who was working for Stanley-based Classic Coaches, is said to have warned passengers there seemed to be a problem before taking evasive action.

The company he worked for released a statement paying tribute to his quick thinking. Investigations are ongoing now into what may have caused the crash.

We are deeply saddened to learn that one of our two drivers on board has died. We are offering our full support to his family and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. He will be sadly missed by everyone at Classic Coaches. A number of passengers have sustained injuries and our thoughts are with them as they recover. Early indications are that our driver tried to take evasive action and that he alerted passengers.

We pay tribute to him for his efforts, and also to our relief driver who helped people to leave the vehicle. It is too early to say what caused the accident, however, we have launched a full investigation and are working closely with the local authorities.

– Heath Williams, Managing Director TGM

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  1. Tyne Tees

Coach driver's actions before crash in France may have saved lives

The owners of a North East coach company said a driver alerted passengers before his vehicle crashed in France last night - which may have saved lives. The driver himself, who was from the North East, was killed.

TGM, which owns Classic Coaches, said the driver tried to take evasive action and paid tribute to his efforts.

The coach smashed into rocks and burst into flames Credit: RP/Reuters

The company also paid tribute to a second driver from the North East, who was uninjured, for helping passengers to leave the vehicle.

It added: “It is too early to say what caused the accident, however, we have launched a full investigation and are working closely with the local authorities. Our own safety specialist is attending the scene to support the investigation.”

  1. Tyne Tees

Coach company 'saddened' by driver death

The coach company whose bus crashed says it is 'deeply saddened' to learn that one of their drivers has died.

The TGM coach was carrying 51 British passengers back to Newcastle, when it crashed in France.

The Managing Director said the company was offering full support to the driver's family.

We are deeply saddened to learn that one of our two drivers on board has died. He will be sadly missed by everyone at Classic Coaches.

– Heath Williams, Managing Director

Brighton company's statement after Alps coach crash

"Skibound has been informed that one person has died in the accident which happened earlier today in Alpe d’Huez. Regrettably this was one of the two British drivers taking the group of Skibound staff back to the UK at the end of the season.

"Twenty nine passengers have been taken to hospitals in the area - four are being treated for more serious injuries. The further 23 passengers have escaped injury and are now with police and counsellors in a local hotel.

"At the moment, Skibound's priority is to assist the victims of the accident and their relatives and to work with the authorities and medical assistance companies towards their eventual repatriation to the U.K. "

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Skibound coach involved in crash

Coach crash: we have video of the Skibound offices in Brighton. The 51 passengers travelling from Alpe d'Huez had been on their way home after finishing their ski season working for Skibound in various ski resorts. Also on board the coach were two drivers from the coach company.

Statement from Brighton-based Skibound

Skibound regrets to confirm that a coach travelling from the resort of Alpe d'Huez was involved in an incident, 65 kms from Grenoble in France at approximately 13.45 this afternoon local time.

The 51 passengers travelling from Alpe d'Huez had been on their way home after finishing their ski season working for Skibound in various ski resorts across the French Alps. Also on board the coach were two drivers from the coach company.

One person has been taken by air ambulance to the local hospital. All other passengers are accounted for and are being treated in local hospitals or have been evacuated to a village close by. A special assistance team from Skibound is in place to provide support to those affected.

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