Looe: Coach Crash Latest

14 May 2014, 14:17 | Updated: 14 May 2014, 14:25

Plymouth's Derriford hospital main entrance

The driver of a coach that crashed near Looe killing two women has been released on bail.

Officers arrested the 57-year-old man after the coach carrying more than 50 passengers careered into a hedge on the A387 at Morval.

The coach, operated by Carmel Coaches, had been taking the passengers on an Age Concern trip from Exmouth, Devon, to the popular seaside town of Looe.

A woman died at the scene, and a second woman was taken by air ambulance to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Seven other passengers were seriously injured, with four walking wounded treated after the coach crashed on the winding road at around 1pm on Tuesday.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the driver, from Exeter, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and taken into custody at Launceston. A force spokesperson said:

"The coach driver has been released on police bail until August 11, 2014. He was released from custody on Tuesday evening.''

Three air ambulances, one from Cornwall and two from Devon, flew to the crash site to tend to the passengers. All seven seriously injured were taken to Derriford Hospital, while other passengers were taken to a nearby village hall where four walking wounded were treated and tea and coffee was handed out.

Roberta Powley, who lives in the nearby village of No Man's Land, said she was told the coach had been taking pensioners on a trip to Looe when it crashed near the Snooty Fox country hotel. Mrs Powley said:

"I think they were all OAPs on a trip. They were heading down to Looe. They have opened up what used to be the memorial hall in Morval and are giving them tea and coffee. I was told the coach crashed at the Snooty Fox, and that is up a very steep hill going down into Looe.''

The coach was travelling towards Looe from the direction of Plymouth, between Sandplace and Widegates, when it crashed.

In a statement,the coach firm said:

"Carmel Coaches extends our deepest sympathies to those involved in (Tuesday's) accident. We are co-operating with the authorities in the investigation of this tragic event.''

Enid Goldup, a survivor of the crash,  said:

"When our coach hit the trees at the side, all the glass came in all down the side there. There were glass shards everywhere. We were in the seat in front of the back seat and the lady in the corner, of course she died. Oh, it was really horrible, it was terrible.''

Four people remain in Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, while the other casualties have been discharged.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "The investigation into the cause of the collision continues.''