Bus driver jailed for crashing bus into bridge injuring pupils onboard

A bus driver has been jailed after a double decker hit a railway bridge Credit: ITV Meridian

A bus driver has been jailed for three years for a crash which left three school pupils with life-changing injuries.

Twelve other students were hurt when the double decker hit a railway bridge at Headbourne Worthy, Winchester, on 10 September 2020.

The court heard how 36-year-old Martin Walker of Burke Drive in Southampton, carried on driving under the bridge, despite students telling him to turn around because the bus was too large.

Martin Walker can be seen here on the left Credit: ITV Meridian

Judge Angela Morris told him: "The entire roof of the bus was effectively sliced off by your actions, with the result that those students on the upper deck were left with varying degrees of injuries and trauma."

Nicholas Cotter, prosecuting, told the court that Stagecoach employee Walker had been driving the route for the first time when he had taken a wrong turn without realising.

Neil Fitzgibbon, defending, said Walker was diagnosed with learning difficulties and dyslexia as a child but until this accident had been a "careful and diligent driver".

He said the defendant had only been given a "partial familiarisation" trip on the route by his supervisors at Stagecoach and should have been given more training because of his learning disabilities.

Walker has also been disqualified from driving.