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Brentwood School pupil released from intensive care following Belgium coach crash

PUBLISHED: 13:57 29 June 2015 | UPDATED: 14:32 29 June 2015

Ian Davies, Headmaster of Brentwood School, Essex. A coach driver has died and an adult and a child were seriously injured after a bus carrying British schoolchildren crashed in Belgium, a school spokesman said.

Ian Davies, Headmaster of Brentwood School, Essex. A coach driver has died and an adult and a child were seriously injured after a bus carrying British schoolchildren crashed in Belgium, a school spokesman said.

PA/Press Association Images

The Brentwood School pupil who suffered a fractured skull in a coach crash in Belgium yesterday morning has been released from intensive care.

The 13-year-old boy had a small brain bleed as a result of his head injury.

A statement posted on the school’s website today said: “Shortly after 11am UK time, the headmaster spoke with the British Consulate and the parents of the pupil with the fractured skull. He is pleased with his progress and he is now out of intensive care.”

A driver who died in the collision has been named as James “Geordie” Chance.

The grandfather of five, from Lisburn, Northern Ireland, is believed to have been sitting next to the coach’s driver when it crashed into a motorway bridge, in Middelkerke, West Flanders, and went off the road at about 8.45am yesterday.

The coach’s driver remains in hospital in a stable condition.

There were 34 first and second year children, between the ages of 11 and 13, aboard the coach as well as six teachers from the school, in Middleton Hall Lane, Brentwood.

A second Brentwood School student remains in a Belgium hospital, with a fractured leg.

Ian Davies, headteacher of Brentwood School, tweeted yesterday: “My sincere thanks to everyone for their many messages of support regarding today’s coach crash.

“It has been a difficult day for the school”.

He has since reiterated his thanks to the Foreign Office, British Consulate and Red Cross in a statement on the school’s website.

The remaining pupils and staff returned to the school by coach yesterday evening.

The coach involved in the crash is owned by Richmond Coaches of Ballinderry Road, Lisburn, in Northern Ireland.

In a statement, the firm said: “Richmond Coaches were devastated to hear of the death of their second driver, Mr Chance. Mr Chance’s family have been informed of his death.”

The company’s director Brendan McKenna added that his “thoughts and prayers” were with all the families affected.

Belgian police are investigating the cause of the crash, a spokesman for Middelkerke town council confirmed.

Pictures of the bus showed it lying on its side with the front destroyed.


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