Hereford & Worcester

Funeral for France coach crash teacher Peter Rippington

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of the Worcestershire school teacher who died in a coach crash in France last month.

Peter Rippington, of Alvechurch School, died and more than 20 others were hurt returning from a school skiing trip.

The funeral was held at St Laurence's Church, Alvechurch, before a private service for family and friends at Redditch Crematorium.

The school, where Mr Rippington taught maths and games, is closed for the day.

Mr Rippington's coffin was carried into the service to the song Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton.

The service included tributes from Amy and Max Rippington, the teacher's adult children.

A private service followed the funeral of Peter Rippington

Amy Rippington read a poem she wrote called My Father The Hero.

In the poem she said how much "my Dad loved his job and the kids".

In her tribute she said: "He would have wanted things this way as he would never have forgiven himself if anybody else had lost their life."

Other tributes were paid by friends, Mr Rippington's brother, Paul, and the Alvechurch Middle School headteacher, Karen Jordan.

In his address, the Reverend David Martin described Mr Rippington as "selfless and very much part of this community and deeply committed to Alvechurch".

Former pupil Jade Sprigg, 20, was at school with Mr Rippington's son, and went to the funeral to pay her respects to the man who taught her for four years .

She told the BBC: "He was funny, lovely, kind hearted - he organised all our school trips."

The funeral was relayed to the school and the church hall.

A group of 49 pupils and staff from the school were returning from the ski trip when the coach crashed near Reims in northern France on 19 February.

Last week, the driver of the coach appeared before a judge in Chalons-en-Champagne.

French authorities said he was being investigated for involuntary homicide and involuntary wounding, following the crash.

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