Coach overturns on M40

12 December 2010, 10:07

The double-deck vehicle flipped on its side just before 11 pm Saturday evening near Thame.

The double-decker coach was on an "Oxford-Tube" service, operated by Stagecoach - and flipped on its side on the north-bound slip-road at junction 7.

19 people were taken to hospital with 17 attending the Emergency Department at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Four of the casualties had surgery for injuries including broken bones, with 12 others needing other treatment after the crash  - five people remain in hospital this morning.

Thames Valley Police said no other vehicle was involved in the incident, and it is not yet known what caused the crash.

Police had temporarily closed the slip road whilst they investigated what happened, but the motorway is open with a lane-closure in place on the slip-road.

Six ambulances from South Central Ambulance Service attended the crash scene.

"The hospital is working well with its partners and relatives are being contacted,'' a spokeswoman for John Racliffe said.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue say the coach had struck the barrier and rolled over, ending up half way down a steep embankment.

Our priority was to stabilise the coach to prevent it sliding any further as there were still people on the coach. Crews secured the coach using winching equipment giving us a stable work platform.

Incident Commander John Nixon said "there were approximately 35 people on the coach and a priority list was drawn up between South Central Ambulance and Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue. One person was medically trapped at the rear of the coach and crews took a considerable time to free them due to the difficulty in both access and the entrapment."

Mr Nixon added "Another passenger was thrown from the coach and received severe injuries and ended up entangled in the shrubbery down the embankment. They were taken to safety using a basket stretcher."

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact the Thames Valley Roads Policing Unit (24-hrs) on 0845 8 505 505.