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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.”

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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

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

Clegg urges Lib Dems to "keep going"

On the last day of the Liberal Democrat Party Conference, Nick Clegg urged his party to hold its nerve. In his keynote speech in Brighton the party leader said the Lib Dems should "keep going".

It's the mid-point of the party's coalition with the Conservatives. But disatisfaction in areas of our_ region has led members to question whether they should separate from the Conservatives in government altogether. Our reporter Frances Read has been in Brighton.

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