Irishman dies in Belgium school trip bus crash

Irishman dies in Belgium school trip bus crash

AN Irish bus driver was killed in a motorway crash in Belgium at the weekend, in an incident that left several school children in hospital.

James “Geordie” Chance died when the coach crashed into a motorway bridge pillar, causing it to overturn.

The incident occurred at Middelkerke, West Flanders yesterday morning at 09:45 local time (08:45 British time).

The bus, from Richmond Coaches in Lisburn, Co. Armagh, was carrying 34 children from Brentwood School in Essex, along with their teachers, for a school trip.

The children were all aged between 11 and 13.

Mr Chance's co-driver, fellow Irishman Stephen Cardwell, was injured in the accident and is currently in a stable condition at a Belgian hospital.

A 13-year-old schoolboy also suffered a head injury and a teacher broke their collarbone in the incident.

“One of the children subsequently had a head injury. He had a scan and they found a small brain bleed as part of his fractured skull,” the school’s head teacher Ian Davies has confirmed.

Brentwood School is now liaising with the British Foreign Office to bring the injured children home as soon as possible.

Belgian authorities have launched an investigation to establish the cause of the crash.