Bus passengers tell of crash ordeal

TWO Suffolk women who were injured in a coach crash on Christmas Eve have told of the terrifying moment the vehicle veered off the road and flipped on to its side.

Marie Randall, 91, and Muriel Seymour, 87, were among 48 elderly passengers travelling on the Galloway coach which crashed at about 3.40pm on the A140 Cromer Road near to Norwich International Airport.

Nineteen of those on board were taken to hospital, eight of them suffering from serious injuries. Fortunately none of the injuries were life-threatening with police saying the fact that many of the passengers were wearing seat-belts prevented the consequences from being much worse. Five of the passengers remained in hospital last night receiving treatment for their injuries.

Speaking from her hospital bed at the Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital, great, great-grandmother Mrs Randall, from Felixstowe, said she would never get on a coach again after being left in pain following the crash.

She said: “There was shouting and screaming. I was shouting ‘get me out’.”

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Mrs Randall had gone on the five-day coach tour with her close friend Dorothy Dear.

The widow, from Felixstowe, said: “You don’t come away on holiday to end up like this do you?

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“They had to cut my clothes off and they are all in ribbons now. I haven’t got anything to wear.

“But I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere at the moment. I can’t even get out of bed.”

Mrs Randall, who has two grandsons, nine great-grandchildren, and one great, great-grandchild, was sat in the middle of the coach when the accident happened at Horsham St Faith, near to Hart’s Hill Farm.

She said: “I was sitting there and suddenly there was a screech of brakes and I was flung left and the coach went over.

“I landed on top of a gentleman and his wife and I kept trying to keep myself off them which I shouldn’t have done because I made it worse for myself.

“There was a big window by me and someone broke the window and I managed to get out.

“I have injured my ribs and that’s what’s causing all the pain.”

Mrs Randall added: “I don’t like to dwell too much on anger or anything like that. But I won’t get on another coach ever.”

Mrs Seymour, from Drinkstone, near Bury St Edmunds, described the “frightening experience”, but praised the local people who rushed from their homes or stopped in their cars to help them in the aftermath.

The widow said: “It didn’t seem real, as if it was happening. Everybody was screaming - there was a terrific noise.

“They had to cut me out. I was on the side next to the road and had a young lad on my left side and him and somebody else fell on top of me.

“But somebody quickly came to me, I don’t know where he came from. He said he was a medical student - perhaps he was in a car or saw it.

“I was very shocked but wasn’t too badly hurt, but I did hurt my leg, especially my left knee.”

Emergency services declared a major incident and Horsham St Faith Social Club was opened to provide support to the non-injured passengers.

The road was closed until late into the evening, when the coach was recovered. It is not known why the vehicle veered off the road and turned onto its right-hand side.

The single-decker was on its way to the Holiday Inn in Ipswich Road, where the couch tour passengers were booked in to stay for five nights, when the crash happened.

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