ALPS COACH DRIVER CRASHED TO SAVE LIVES
22nd November 2017
Last modified on May 13th, 2021
Maurice Wrightson was going down a steep mountain road from Alpe d’Huez in France in 2013 when the brakes failed.
An inquest has heard how he prevented a larger loss of life.
The 63-year-old was taking resort staff back to the UK in April 2013 after many had worked a season in the French ski resort.
The brakes on the vehicle failed and he deliberately drove into boulders by the side of the road as the coach picked up speed.
He died in the crash and 4 people were seriously injured.
50 passengers were on board at the time and the vehicle burst into flames.
They broke windows to escape the inferno.
See here for our reports on the accident from the time.
An inquest is being held at Berwick Coroner’s Court.
French investigators told the court that the driver “undoubtedly prevented” a more serious crash.
The inquest heard that French investigators concluded the brakes failed as a pad had been “completely destroyed by excessive heating” due to the “poor condition of the hydraulic retarder”.
Mr Wrightson came from Ashington in Northumberland and was working for Classic Coaches based in County Durham.
The inquest continues.