Passengers hurt as tour coach crashes

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AN ELDERLY woman from West Suffolk was among 19 passengers injured when a tour coach flipped on to its side on Christmas Eve.

Emergency services attended the accident on the A140 Cromer Road in Horsham St Faith at 3.40pm which involved a coach owned by Mendlesham-based Galloway Travel.

Nineteen people were taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for treatment and eight were kept in overnight.

Muriel Seymour, from Drinkstone, who is in her eighties, was released from Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, but was re-admitted to West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, on Wednesday.

Colin Seymour, Mrs Seymour’s son, said his mother was unable to walk because of the effects of the accident and should not have been discharged.

The single-decker coach was carrying a group of 49 people on a five-day Christmas Celebrations in Norfolk tour. Some of the passengers, including Mrs Seymour, were from the Bury St Edmunds area.

The group was on the second day of the tour, travelling back to the Norwich Holiday Inn after a day visit to Holt and Sheringham, when the coach flipped on to its side.

The A140 was closed for more than five hours after the crash, near Hart’s Hill Farm, and diversions were put in place until the road was cleared and reopened at 9.20pm.

Police, fire and ambulance crews attended the scene and were assisted by a medical team from Anglia One, the air ambulance serving Suffolk and Norfolk.

All of the non-injured passengers were taken to a support centre, which was set up at Horsham St Faith Social Club.

David Cattermole, managing director of Galloway Travel, said: “The total positive feedback response that we had was beyond anybody’s expectations. The emergency services, my colleagues here and the hotel at which the group were based were all exemplary.”

He added that the fact the majority of passengers were wearing seatbelts ‘no doubt saved lives’.

Mr Cattermole said he admired the clients for continuing with their holiday after the accident. He confirmed that the coach driver had been taken to hospital on Christmas Eve but had since been discharged.

Norfolk Police are appealing for witnesses and have launched an investigation into the cause of the crash.