Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry bus crash: Midland Red admits failings

Coventry supermarket bus crash Image copyright West Midlands Ambulance Service
Image caption The bus went into the side of Sainsbury's supermarket in Coventry city centre in October 2015

A bus operator has admitted failings following the deaths of a seven-year-old boy and a pensioner in a bus crash.

Passenger Rowan Fitzgerald, seven, and pedestrian Dora Hancox, 76, were both killed when a double-decker bus crashed into a Coventry supermarket in 2015.

Midland Red (South) Ltd admitted failing to ensure the safety of employees and failing to make sure the public was not exposed to risk.

A bus driver has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Dora Hancox and Rowan Fitzgerald were pronounced dead at the scene

The charges were brought against the bus operator, under the Health and Safety at Work Act, following an inquiry into the deaths.

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Stockport-based Midland Red admitted a charge of failing to ensure the safety of employees between April and October 2015.

It also admitted it did not prevent or control risks of driver error "due to lack of capability and/or fatigue and/or working hours, which were excessive in the circumstances".

The company's solicitor, Andrew Dawson, expressed "profound condolences, regret and sorrow" over the crash, in which the bus hit the side of the store.

The case will go to Coventry Crown Court on 6 October for sentencing.

Bus driver and former Leamington mayor Kailash Chander, 79, will appear on the same date to face charges of causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving. He has not yet entered a plea.

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