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  1. ITV Report

School coach crash: driver 'lost control while looking for sunglasses'

The coach crashed on the A39 motorway in the East of France. Credit: ITV News

The driver of a coach full of British pupils that crashed in France has told investigators he lost control while looking for his sunglasses.

Two students from Cheltenham Bournside School in Gloucestershire remain in hospital following Saturday's accident near the Swiss border. One of them - 15-year-old Sophie Herbert - was left with life-threatening injuries.

The pupils were travelling to Dora Baltea in Italy for a week's camping trip when their vehicle left the A39 motorway at Lons-le-Saunier in France's eastern Jura region.

The driver, 51, reportedly told investigators he lost control while looking for his sunglasses but authorities believe he may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

15-year-old Sophie Herbert was left with life-threatening injuries in the crash. Credit: Justgiving

Local prosecutor Jean-Luc Lennon told broadcaster France 3 he did not find the driver's explanation convincing as it did not fit with the circumstances of the crash.

He has been released from questioning and is expected to be charged in relation to the crash, according to the channel.

A further 10 students and one member of school staff received minor injuries and were treated in hospital before being discharged.

Forty pupils returned home by Eurostar to be reunited with their parents earlier today.

Students from Bournside School returned home this morning. Credit: ITV News

A statement from the school said:

"The students have been reunited with their parents, and the staff have returned home."

"Our thoughts continue to be with the two students and their close family, who are seriously injured in hospital in France and will not be returning to the UK for now."

"Parents of both students are with their children and are being supported by the school and other relevant agencies."

– Cheltenham Bournside School statement

Operated by Caernarfon-based Express Motors, the coach left the UK on Friday and was making its way to Dora Baltea, a river in northern Italy popular for white-water rafting and kayaking.

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