Cumbria

Pupils recall Keswick School bus crash

Kieran Goulding and Chloe Walker
Image caption Kieran Goulding and Chloe Walker were on their way home from school

Young survivors of a bus crash in Cumbria, which claimed the lives of two teenagers, have recalled the horror of the collision.

Keswick School pupils Chloe Walker, 16 and Kieran Goulding, 15, died when their bus was hit by a car driven by former teacher Patrick Short, 68.

Mr Short, whose Honda Civic car was on the wrong side of the road, also died.

An inquest into the deaths last May, heard from fellow pupils who described the carnage of the crash scene.

The coach was taking pupils from Keswick School home towards Cockermouth and Whitehaven and was nearly full when the crash happened on the A66 near Keswick.

The inquest heard in a statement from a 13-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, that pupils at the back of the bus had discussed whether they should open the skylight on the hot, sunny afternoon and Kieran got out of his seat.

He said: "Chloe went to try and grab Kieran's hand, but then the bus crashed.

"She did not get to him and ended up dying and so did Kieran."

The two youngsters were later discovered trapped under the bus.

Image caption The two teenagers and Mr Short were killed instantly in the crash

Other pupil statements were also read out at the hearing at Cleator Moor Civic Hall.

A 14-year-old girl told how she was trapped by a fallen metal beam and had to be pulled out of the wreckage by firefighters.

She said: "People were trying to get me out and were saying 'don't die, don't die'. I said 'I'm not dying, I'm just resting my eyes'."

She suffered a broken collarbone and severe muscle damage to her shoulder which she will not have full use of again.

Giving evidence, a 13-year-old boy told how he thought the Honda Civic was travelling faster than the speed limit when he saw it through the windscreen.

He said the vehicle suddenly swerved from the opposite carriageway and straight on to the front of the bus which overturned and hit a tree.

Earlier the inquest was told tests showed Mr Short's Type 2 diabetes condition was "highly unlikely" to have played a part in the crash.

The hearing continues.

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