South East Wales

'Major chaos' outside Maesteg minibus death school

Ashley Talbot Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Ashley Daniel Talbot, 15, died at the scene

There was regularly "major chaos" outside a school in Bridgend county where a boy was hit and killed by a minibus, an inquest has heard.

Ashley Talbot, 15, died at Maesteg Comprehensive School in December 2014 after a crash with a minibus driven by a teacher.

Police questioned teacher Chris Brooks but did not take any action.

The inquest in Aberdare, due to last a week, was told Ashley had serious injuries and died at the scene.

A second boy also involved in the incident was hurt.

Image caption The minibus was taken away from the school after Ashley's death

The head teacher at the time Ann Rees, known professionally as Ann Carhart, told the jury the road by the school was used by buses, children walking and cars dropping off children.

There was usually "major chaos" at the end of the school day, she said.

Mrs Rees told the jury that staff were placed on a rota in different locations, as part of a risk assessment, wherever they were needed most so they could take action when needed.

She said that at the time Ashley died, buses gathered on both sides of the road at the entrance to the school and teachers signalled to the drivers when they believed it was safe for them to leave.

The jury heard teachers also indicated to cars and minibuses on the site when they should leave, with buses taking priority.

Mrs Rees said staff had to be "vigilant and have eyes everywhere", adding: "I was never satisfied with the system.

"We had meetings with Bridgend council about how to improve the system."

Image caption Tributes were left at the school following the incident

Mrs Rees, who retired in 2015, said that following the incident, the lay-bys where buses could wait had been extended and a new arrangement was being put in place for parents to drop off children further away.

Coroner Andrew Barkley said Ashley and a friend were running from the school buildings to where the buses were parked, but did not use the pedestrian crossing.

He said Mr Brooks was driving a minibus towards the school gates at the time and it collided with the two boys.

PC Lloyd Monday, who was the first roads policing officer on the scene, told the jury he saw the minibus in the middle of the road with larger buses on both sides of the carriageway.

He said he asked Mr Brooks what had happened and breath tested him for alcohol, which gave a zero reading.

The inquest continues.

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