School bus driver suspended over Essex crash

A bus driver has been suspended as part of an investigation into a crash between a school coach and a car in Essex.

Four children and a 25-year-old man suffered minor injuries in Wednesday's collision on the A120 at Great Bromley.

Essex County Council said the children were taken to hospital as a precaution but had been released.

The bus, which was travelling from Colchester to Harwich, had collected about 30 pupils from three schools.

The bus service is operated by Network Colchester as part of a contract run by Stephensons of Essex.

Bill Hiron, managing director of Stephensons of Essex, confirmed the bus driver had been suspended.

'Loud bang'

He said: "Network Colchester are carrying out an investigation in conjunction with the police.

"We are being kept abreast of developments. The bus driver has been suspended but that is standard procedure while an investigation takes place."

Closed circuit television from the bus is being examined as part of the investigation.

The council spokesman said: "The Network Colchester bus was taking pupils home at the end of the school day when the collision happened.

"Some pupils were taken to hospital as a precaution following the incident. They have since been released.

"Essex County Council, the transport provider and sub-contractor, will be assisting the police with their investigation into the collision."

Pupils on the bus described hearing a "loud bang" before the Ford Fiesta involved in the crash burst into flames.

The incident happened about 16:30 GMT on Wednesday as the pupils were being taken home.

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