Coach crash victims demand answers

By Harriet Ernstsons Wednesday 26 February 2014 Updated: 26/02 14:05

VICTIMS of a coach crash which killed a popular Alvechurch teacher have called for answers two years on.

Lawyers from Irwin Mitchell representing the 20 children and two teachers from Alvechurch Middle School and two ski instructors involved in the crash near Chalons-en-Champagne on February 19, 2012 have met with French magistrates in a bid to speed up the investigation.

They discussed a number of issues including the timing of criminal proceedings against the English coach driver currently facing charges of involuntary manslaughter.

He was employed by the coach company Solus, transporting the group on behalf of Inter School Travel Limited - trading as Interski.

Teacher Peter Rippington lost his life in the crash, which happened as the coach was returning to the UK, while other passengers were left with multiple injuries including spinal and limb fractures, lacerations, dental injuries and post traumatic stress disorder.

Cheryl Palmer-Hughes from Irwin Mitchell said: "The past two years have been immensely difficult for our clients, with many of them continuing to suffer from serious physical and psychological trauma caused by the crash.

"We are determined to ensure that all of those who were injured receive the support and assistance they need to help them on the road to recovery and that all of our clients receive the justice they deserve following this terrible incident and its

aftermath.

"Our clients rightly want justice and they want to understand what caused this fatal coach crash. The wait for answers has simply been too long. The fact that victims and their families are still unaware of the exact cause of the accident is simply unacceptable and while the French investigation into the accident is thorough, we and our clients are very concerned at the length of time this is taking."

Steve Little from Barnt Green, father of 15-year-old Taylor who suffered serious multiple fractures, added: "We could have never imagined that something like this would have happened in this crash and the impact it has had upon Taylor's life has been huge.

"We are so desperate to know how this happened and frustrated that the criminal proceedings in France are taking so long."

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