Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Coach crashes on M3 after driver 'loses consciousness'

Coach crash on M3
Image caption The passengers were being taken to Southampton to join a cruise

A coach with 26 passengers overturned on the M3 in Hampshire after the driver lost consciousness after feeling unwell, police said.

The accident happened at about 18:00 GMT on Sunday on the southbound carriageway, a mile from Fleet services.

Hampshire police said eight people had been taken to hospital. All but two have since been discharged.

The carriageway was shut from junction 4a to 5 but reopened early on Monday.

Passengers on the Dutch-registered coach were travelling to Southampton to begin a cruise.

Image caption The southbound M3 was closed following the crash

Seven of those taken to hospital for medical treatment had minor injuries, a police spokeswoman said.

All of the passengers on board the vehicle were Dutch, she added.

Sgt Lyndon Barrett of Hampshire Constabulary said: "There were 26 passengers on board, plus the driver. The driver had become unwell and lost consciousness and the vehicle left the carriageway."

He added: "Passengers have been conveyed to hotels in Southampton where they will meet a cruise ship tomorrow [Monday]."

Fourteen ambulances were sent to the scene.

Andy Newton of South East Coast Ambulance Service described it as "potentially a very serious incident.".

The driver of the coach is said to be in a comfortable condition in Frimley Park Hospital.

One female passenger also remains in hospital, with minor injuries.

The southbound carriageway was closed for several hours causing long tailbacks.

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