Cornwall Coach Crash On Black Ice: 2 Women Killed, 47 Injured
A coach crash in Cornwall late Tuesday night caused 2 women to be killed, and 47 other passengers to be injured. The coach was traveling near the village of Townshend in Cornwall, about 7 miles north-east of Penzance in Devon.
The coach slid on a sheet of black ice and hit a tree, eventually coming to a standstill on its side. The coach crashed around 10:00 pm while en route returning from a trip to see Christmas lights displays in various Cornish villages.
78-year-old Irene Spencer and 70-year-old Patricia Pryor were the two women killed in the crash that left 47 of the 48 coach passengers injured. While the coach was equipped with seat belts, it remains unknown how many of the passengers were wearing them.
"One passenger died at the scene and a second at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro," Devon and Cornwall Police said. A spokesman confirmed they were women.
The coach consisted of predominantly elderly passengers, many of whom fell oin top of one another when the coach overturned. Many of them were removed from the bus through windows and taken to hospital. Devon and Cornwall police described the condition of the injured passengers as the "walking wounded."
Officers said the coach was fitted with lap belts but it was unclear whether all the passengers, mainly elderly people, had been strapped in. The coach is understood to have left the road shortly after 10pm on Tuesday, hit a tree and ploughed through a hedge before coming to a stop on its side near the village of Townshend, about seven miles north-east of Penzance.
The black ice on the road even lead to difficulties as police and ambulances tried to make their way to the crash site. A police car crashed into the coach wreckage as it skidded on an icy stretch of hill at Godolphin Bridge.
Many are now wondering why this road, frequently used to transport people to the Christmas lights displays, was not gritted. The city council made a statement that said it was responsible for 4,530 miles of road from major principal roads to narrow country lanes. Up to £1.35 million was spent for the purpose of road safety in winter weather conditions such as these.