British Passengers Injured In Alps Coach Crash Take Legal Action

Expert International Personal Injury Lawyers Investigating Chambery Accident

17.07.2015

Ten British passengers injured in a coach crash while on a skiing holiday in France earlier this year have instructed expert international personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to pursue claims for compensation.

Sarah Rothwell-Bowness, 42, her husband Allan, 44, and their three children from Aughton, Lancashire were on a coach organised by the tour operator Esprite Holidays when it crashed at around 8.30am on 4 January 2015 on the way from La Rosière to Chambéry Airport.

Sarah, who works in human resources, suffered severe cuts and a fracture to her right wrist and hand, which required surgery in France, and psychological injuries. She is still unable to use her right arm and has been told she may never recover full movement.  Sarah has also had further surgery and continues to have intensive therapy and also required further surgery next year to remove metal pins.

The coach, carrying 32 British passengers in total, overturned after leaving the road. French Police are investigating the cause of the collision while witnesses described the vehicle swerving out of control, leaving the road, and then coming to rest by guard rails at the edge of a ravine.

The couple’s friends Katie Hannah, 40, her husband Gary, 44, and their three children from Ormskirk, Lancashire, were also on board at the time of the incident.

Katie, a Sales Director, suffered severe cuts in the crash and will shortly undergo surgery to remove a piece of glass that remains in her right arm. Her husband suffered nerve damage in his shoulder and continues to struggle with movement in his right arm.

The passengers have instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s travel law team to pursue a claim for compensation, to investigate the cause of the accident and to find out if more could have been done to prevent the crash. Irwin Mitchell will also be seeking to help their clients with their recovery and the rehabilitation they need following their injuries.

Expert Opinion
“The passengers involved in this incident suffered a terrible ordeal on board the coach and continue to suffer the consequences. They should be remembering their holiday together with fondness, but instead it will be memorable for all the wrong reasons and, understandably, they want answers about what caused the crash.

“Our clients want to know what happened to cause the coach to leave the road. They could have been killed and want reassurances that lessons will be learned to improve coach safety in future.

“We are also working to ensure our clients gain access to the support, medical treatment and rehabilitation they need to help them recover both physically and mentally from this ordeal so that they can get their lives back on track.

“We have repeatedly called for safety improvements and better regulation around maintenance of coaches and measures to ensure drivers are carefully monitored and they are trained to the highest possible standard.”
Philip Banks, Partner

Specialist lawyers at the firm have extensive experience representing those injured in coach crashes in the UK and abroad. Among other coach and bus crash cases, the team currently represent 25 passengers injured when a coach returning to a school in Alvechurch, West Midlands crashed in the French Alps in 2012.

Recalling the incident, Sarah said: “We had a great trip in France but the day of the crash has to be one of the worst of my life. Thankfully, we all made it out of the crash alive, but myself and my husband suffered serious injuries while our children all suffered minor injuries.  As well as the physical impact, we have all been left traumatised by our ordeal.

“We all simply want to know what happened and what can be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The last few months have 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.”

Katie said: “The crash has left our entire family absolutely traumatised and I am still trying to come to terms with the awful injuries I received.  The scarring is horrific and is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.  We are thankful the children weren’t more seriously injured, or worse.

“Hopefully our legal team at Irwin Mitchell will be able to give us the answers we need about what happened that day.”

Expert Opinion
“Investigations into this tragedy are continuing and we are liaising with the police in France with this in mind. We are also conducting our own investigations into the circumstances of this incident.

“We would urge any witnesses to the incident, including any other passengers on board the coach, to contact us as they may be able to assist our investigations.”
Philip Banks, Partner

Anyone with information about the crash or those who were on the coach at the time should contact Debbie Manders on 0121 214 6576 or email Debbie.Manders@IrwinMitchell.com

If you or a loved one has been injured in a road traffic accident while on holiday or working abroad, our specialist holiday accidents & illness claims team could help you to secure the compensation you deserve. See our Road Traffic Accident Abroad Claims page for more information.