Girl, 14, and driver killed after school bus overturns on motorway


A 14-year-old girl and a school bus driver have died after the vehicle overturned on a motorway in Merseyside, police have said.

It comes after major incidents were declared following “a number of casualties”, emergency services said earlier.

A total of 54 people were on the bus – many were being assessed at the scene on the M53.

North West Ambulance Service, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Arrowe Park Hospital declared a “major incident” following the collision between the coach and a car.

Calday Grange all-boys grammar school and West Kirby all-girls grammar school confirmed one of its school buses was involved in the incident.

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A driver and a 14-year-old schoolgirl have both died after a school bus overturned

A map showing the crash site

Merseyside Fire and Rescue said crews arrived at the scene at 8.16am “to find an overturned bus with a number of casualties”.

Earlier, North West Ambulance Service said it sent “a large number of resources to the scene” and a female patient had been taken to the hospital “suffering major trauma-related injuries”.

“There are also nearly 50 other patients being assessed at the scene,” it added.

“We are working closely with our incident partners to convey people away from the scene as quickly as possible.”

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Pic: Sherin Akhtar
Pic: Sherin Akhtar

Emergency services at the scene of a coach crash on the M53 motorway, between junction 5 at Ellesmere Port and junction 4 at Bebbington. The coach was carrying schoolchildren to Calday Grange Grammar School and West Kirby Grammar School for Girls. Picture date: Friday September 29, 2023.

Children’s hospital A&E ‘extremely busy’

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital later declared a major incident but this has now been “de-escalated”.

It said its accident and emergency department “remains extremely busy”, adding: “Please only attend in cases of emergency.”

Health Secretary Steve Barclay posted on X, formerly Twitter: “I am being kept updated on the unfolding incident on the M53 and would like to thank everyone @AlderHey Children’s Hospital caring for those injured.”

The motorway has been closed in both directions between junctions 3 and 5 and diversions are in place.

Merseyside Police said they were called just after 8am to reports a bus had struck a reservation at junction 5 of the motorway.

The force said: “Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service is currently ensuring the safe removal of passengers and the driver, and North West Ambulance Service are at the scene attending to anyone requiring treatment.

“Motorists are advised to avoid the area and find alternative routes, and we advise people to remain patient while the incident is ongoing.”

In separate statements on X, Calday Grange Grammar School and West Kirby Grammar School said: “We are aware of a situation involving one of our school buses on the motorway earlier today.

“We’re actively gathering details and assisting affected students and their families.”

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