Pregnant Woman Among Those Injured During Incident
British tourists who suffered physical and psychological injuries when a London-bound coach crashed in Belgium have called on legal experts to assist them following the terrifying incident.
Irwin Mitchell’s specialist International Personal Injury team has been instructed by several people affected by the incident when a coach travelling from Amsterdam to London collided with a concrete structure and turned on its side on the E40 motorway near the town of Aalter, which is located between the cities of Ghent and Bruges.
The Ouibus vehicle was carrying 21 passengers at the time of the incident, including Ahmad Jamal, 23, from Barking, who was travelling with his pregnant wife Soraia Sahel, 25, and 34-year-old John Boakye, who lives in Southwark.
The trio are among a number of people who have now instructed specialist serious injury lawyers, Irwin Mitchell to help investigate the collision.
Expert Opinion“We are hugely concerned by the first-hand accounts provided by our clients regarding this frightening ordeal. It is particularly harrowing that many passengers were asleep prior to the crash and were woken up by the screams of others.
“Our clients are still reeling from the physical and psychological toll this incident has taken on them and they understandably want to know what steps will be taken to prevent such a crash from happening again.
“We are determined to help them get the answers they deserve and, as part of our investigations, we would like to hear from any other passengers who were on the coach at the time of the collision and may be able to help us establish how this happened.” Philip Banks - Partner
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Ahmad Jamal and Soraia Sahel were travelling home from a friend’s wedding in Germany when the incident occurred. While they both suffered from cuts and bruises and Ahmad required time off work to recover, they were relieved to receive news that their baby was not hurt.
Soraia said: “Our journey got off to a bad start when the driver was around two hours late in picking us up. During the journey the air conditioning was turned up and it was really cold on the coach.
“Then all of a sudden the coach hit what appeared to be a concrete structure and turned on its side.
“It was one of the most terrifying moments of my life. I was so scared and being pregnant all I could think of was my baby. Being involved in the crash was just a nightmare and I was so relieved to get out of the coach.”
Ahmad added: “Wreckage was all over the motorway and the coach’s windscreen was smashed in. It took a couple of seconds for everything to sink in. People were screaming and shouting for help and others were stuck at the back of the coach.
“We both get very tearful when we think about the incident and we struggled to sleep for some time following it too. While we both feel lucky to be alive, we feel we deserve answers regarding what happened and whether it could have been avoided.”
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John Boakye needed stitches in his right elbow and suffered cuts and bruising to his shins in the incident.
Looking back on the crash, John said: “After a drop-off in Rotterdam I heard the driver say we would stop again in half an hour. However, I nodded off and when I woke up the lady next to me mentioned there had been no stops.
“Suddenly out of nowhere people started screaming and when I looked up I saw we were going to hit something. We spun for a moment and then the coach dropped onto its right hand side – I smashed through the rooftop emergency exit to escape.
“It was absolutely horrific and it will take me a very long time to come to terms with what happened. I can’t imagine ever travelling for a long distance on a coach ever again.”
Anyone with information about the crash or those who were on the coach at the time should contact Kaz Khan on 0121 203 5534 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Irwin Mitchell has previously represented dozens of people injured in coach crashes abroad, including children and staff from a school in Essex who were hurt in a collision in Middelkerke, Belgium in June 2015. Lawyers have also represented passengers injured when a coach crashed on the way from La Rosière to Chambéry Airport in France in the same year.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling accident abroad cases.