Motorway Coach Crash Driver Jailed

National Express Coach Crash


A West Bromwich coach driver who crashed a National Express coach carrying 33 passengers while over the drink-drive limit has been jailed.

Leslie Weinberg, 35, flipped the vehicle at Newport Pagnell services on M1 motorway in Buckinghamshire when he took a bend too fast.

Twenty-five of his passengers were injured, six seriously, on September 3 last year.

Weinberg was later found to be one-and-a-half times the legal alcohol limit for driving.

Aylesbury Crown Court heard how back-calculations suggested Weinberg was probably double the limit when he started his journey in Birmingham, bound for Stansted Airport in Essex.

He was jailed for 10 months, banned from driving for four years and fined £500. Weinberg was told he would have to retake his test if he wishes to drive again following his disqualification.

Police said he mistook the entry slip road to the service area as the exit slip road for junction 14 of the M1. Going too fast to negotiate the bend, the coach hit a kerb and tipped over onto its side.

Robert Jarrett, a roads policing inspector for Thames Valley Police, said after the case: "Thankfully and probably due to nothing more than good luck, no-one died. The outcome could have been much, much worse. That said, 25 people were injured and six seriously. Some have received quite horrific life-changing injuries and will live with the consequences of what happened that day for the rest of their lives."

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Kate Monk from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "Accidents on the road are far too common and often can be avoidable. This has been the third serious incident involving a National Express vehicle and perhaps its time that stricter procedures are put in place to ensure this does not happen again."

If you’ve experienced physical or psychological injury due to a road traffic accident involving a bus or coach, you may be able to claim compensation. See our Bus & Coach Accident Claims page for more information.