Experts Instructed To Help Passengers Injured In Fatal French Alps Coach Crash

Call For Answers and Improvements In Safety Standards In Relation To Tragedy Near Alpe d’Huez In April


By Rob Dixon

Specialist travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who represent the victims of coach crashes in the UK and abroad have been instructed to represent injured passengers following a devastating coach crash in the French Alps last month.

The tragic incident occurred on April 16th, when a vehicle operated by ‘Classic Coaches’, part of TGM Group Limited, left a road close to Alpe d’Huez while carrying around 50 passengers back to the UK following the ski season. The incident claimed the life of the vehicle’s driver and left many passengers seriously injured.

Clive Garner, Head of the Travel Law Team at Irwin Mitchell, who has personally represented dozens of clients seriously injured as well as the families of many passengers killed in coach accidents abroad, commented. “While we do not yet know the cause of this latest tragic coach crash, we are determined that our clients receive the answers they want and the justice that they deserve.

“We will also ensure that all of our clients receive the support, medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ultimately the damages, that they need to help get their lives back on track. We will also do all that we can to ensure lessons are learned to improve the safety of future coach travel."

“Over many years we have repeatedly called for improved standards of coach safety. This includes better regulation to ensure coaches are always well maintained and safe to operate and that drivers are carefully monitored to ensure they consistently drive to the highest standards Coach drivers should also be given the necessary support they need to do what is a highly responsible job including the provision of adequate rest breaks and facilities and the use of the safest routes."

Cheryl Palmer-Hughes, Solicitor in Irwin Mitchell’s Travel Law team said: “We have heard first-hand accounts of the terrible ordeal that all of those on board the coach experienced, as well as the continuing, life-changing consequences it has had on their lives.

“For many, this was their first experience of working abroad and the journey home should have marked a fitting end to a fantastic time in their lives. Tragically, it will now be memorable for all of the wrong reasons.”

Nicola Read, 19, from Sheerness in Kent, suffered soft tissue injuries and psychological trauma in the crash. She was treated at Grenoble Hospital following the incident, before returning to the UK for further ongoing treatment.

Recalling the incident she said: “That was the worst day of my life and I can only begin to imagine how terrible it must be for the families of not only the driver but others who remain critically injured in hospital following the crash.

“We all simply want to know what happened and what can be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The last month has been the most difficult time of my life and I would not want anyone to have to face what I’ve been through. It has been absolute hell.”

Clive Garner added: “Investigations into this tragedy are continuing and we are liaising with the police in France with this in mind. We will also be conducting our own investigations into the circumstances of this incident.

“We would urge any witnesses to the incident, including any passengers, to contact us to assist our investigations.”

Irwin Mitchell have successfully acted for British victims of bus and coach crashes which have occurred in countries including France, Spain, Gran Canaria, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey Morocco, South Africa, Namibia USA, India and Thailand.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Coach Accidents Abroad Claims