Fresh Investigation Into Fatal French Alps Coach Crash

Victims Of Alpe d'Huez Coach Crash Still Seeking Answers

04.11.2013

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397
Specialist travel lawyers representing passengers injured in a fatal coach crash in the French Alps have welcomed news that a formal criminal investigation has been launched by the courts in France, as victims of the crash are desperate for more information about what went wrong.

On 16 April this year, a coach carrying around 50 ski-season workers home to the UK, was involved in a horrific crash close to Alpe d’Huez in the French Alps when it left the carriageway of an alpine road which rises some 6,100ft above sea level.

The French Criminal Court Investigator has now written to passengers onboard the coach to confirm that they are to begin a formal investigation into ‘involuntary homicide’.

Now more than six-months on, passengers are still trying to overcome serious physical injuries and psychological trauma sustained in the incident which also left the driver of the vehicle dead.

Expert serious injury lawyers from Irwin Mitchell’s Travel Law Team have been instructed to represent a number of the injured passengers and are working with the insurers of the coach company, TGM Group Limited, to secure necessary funds to provide the best possible medical treatment, rehabilitation and support. The team has significant experience in representing dozens of clients seriously injured in coach accidents abroad

Cheryl Palmer-Hughes, a Solicitor and one of the legal team representing passengers, commented: "It’s more than six months since this tragic crash and our clients are still trying to come to terms with what happened.

"We are working hard to ensure that all of our clients receive the medical treatment, rehabilitation and support they need now as well as the additional damages that they need to help get their lives back on track.

"Those involved naturally want to know what went wrong and as well as wanting justice, they want lessons to be learned so that others do not have to experience what they have been through and are still going through on a day-to-day basis.

"We welcome the news that the French authorities have launched a formal criminal investigation into this incident. Our own enquiries into the accident's circumstances are continuing and we are also liaising with the authorities to help them with their investigation.

"At Irwin Mitchell, we have repeatedly called for improvements in 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 that 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 said she had heard first-hand accounts of the terrible ordeal that all of those on board the coach experienced as well as the life-changing consequences it has had for all of those involved.

She added: "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.

"Our clients have called this ‘the worst day of their lives’ and just want to know what happened and what can be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again. We would urge any witnesses to the incident, including any passengers, to contact us to assist with our own investigations."

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

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Coach related accident claims.