Public inquiry into bus crash which killed two people hears how company failed to re-train driver

A public inquiry into a bus crash which killed two people including a young boy, has heard that the bus company failed to send one of its elderly drivers for re-training three times.

Kailash Chander who was 77 at the time, mistook the accelerator for the brake when his vehicle ploughed into the side of a supermarket in Coventry in October 2015.

Kailash Chander ploughed his bus into the side of a supermarket in Coventry Credit: PA

His bus crashed into a Sainsbury's store on Trinity Street, killing pedestrian Dora Hancox, 76, and seven-year-old passenger Rowan Fitzgerald.

The crash, and the fatal accident itself, were captured on CCTV.

Members of the public can be seen running out of the path of the bus with one man trying to warn shoppers.

Dora Hancox, 76, and Rowan Fitzgerald, 7, both died in the crash Credit: West Midlands Police

Mr Chander had crashed his bus numerous times before. He was deemed unfit to stand trial at an earlier hearing after being diagnosed with dementia.

The bus company was handed a £2.335m fine in 2018 after the bus crashed into the supermarket.

At the hearing today (Wednesday 30 January) Midland Red South, part of Stagecoach, appeared before the transport commissioner, who could revoke the bus company's license. It emerged that there had been five complaints about Mr Chander's driving and behaviour.

The hearing was told that he should have been sent for additional driving training three times after complaints about his driving.

The hearing was also told that a manager of the depot in Rugby emailed more senior managers about concerns over Mr Chander's driving, saying that his future with the company should be considered.

However, those managers did not see the emails because they had not been issued with telephones which could receive emails in 2015.

Two days after that email was sent, Mr Chander crashed his bus and killed two people.

We are deeply sorry for what happened. We have always fully accepted our responsibilities.

Phil Medlicott, Managing Director of Midland Red (South) Ltd