Cumbria

Tebay bus crash driver banned after crash

Emergency services assess the damage at the scene of the Tebay bus crash
Image caption Structural engineers were called to examine the property following the crash

A bus driver who crashed into a house - injuring 17 people including several schoolchildren - has been banned from professional driving for three months.

Gerrard Chard was at the wheel of a Stagecoach bus which hit a car before ploughing into the house on the A685 in Tebay, Cumbria, on 16 June last year.

A conduct hearing ruled "a failure to drive properly" caused the smash.

The 61-year-old, of Orton Road, Tebay, was sacked by the bus company following the crash.

An investigation found the vehicle partly veered into the opposite carriageway of the narrow village road before colliding with an oncoming Kia Carens and hitting the house.

Fined by magistrates

Deputy traffic commissioner for the north-west of England Miles Dorrington said a suspension running until 8 July was "proportionate" given the length of time Mr Chard had already been unable to drive passenger-carrying vehicles.

Stagecoach had suspended him following the crash, which a spokesman said was "standard practice", before terminating his employment.

The car was forced into a wall and flipped on to its side, leaving the driver with minor injuries.

The house was occupied at the time, although no-one inside was hurt.

Nine people were taken to hospital and later released.

Mr Chard, who suffered a leg injury, said he crossed the centre of the road to get a better view around a corner - the need for which was disputed by Stagecoach and police.

The incident also saw him fined £75 by magistrates in Carlisle in January after he pleased guilty to driving without due care and attention, ordered to pay £105 costs and given six penalty points.

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