Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry bus crash: Driver, 79, in court over deaths

Kailash Chander
Image caption Magistrates granted Kailash Chander unconditional bail to appear at Warwick Crown Court on 6 October

A 79-year-old man has appeared in court charged with killing a seven-year-old boy and a woman after a double-decker bus struck the side of a supermarket.

Bus driver and ex-Leamington mayor Kailash Chander is alleged to have caused the deaths of Rowan Fitzgerald and Dora Hancox, 76, by dangerous driving in Coventry in October 2015.

He was granted unconditional bail to appear at crown court on 6 October.

The case against a bus company was adjourned.

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Bus operator Midland Red (South) Ltd has been charged with two health and safety breaches.

Mrs Hancox, a pedestrian and a former foster carer from Nuneaton, and Rowan, a passenger, were both pronounced dead at the scene after a bus hit the side of a supermarket in Trinity Street in Coventry.

Image copyright West Midlands Ambulance Service
Image caption A double-decker bus struck the side of a supermarket in Trinity Street in Coventry
Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Dora Hancox and Rowan Fitzgerald were pronounced dead at the scene

Mr Chander, from Leamington Spa, also faces two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was not asked to enter a plea during a five-minute hearing at Coventry Magistrates' Court and was granted unconditional bail to appear at Warwick Crown Court.

The managing director of Midland Red, Steve Burd, and its operations director, Jim Mortimore, attended court on behalf of the bus company.

The firm faces allegations of failing to discharge employer's duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act to employees and persons not in its employment.

The court adjourned the case against the company, which did not enter a plea, until a further hearing in Coventry on 14 September.

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