- 6 Jun 2005
Bus firm admits crash liability
BUS operators First have admitted liability for the dramatic bus smash which demolished part of a York house.
First have also agreed to pay for sisters Mary Mullen and Bernadette Moore to stay in rented accommodation until their home can be re-built.
The sisters were asleep in the house in Lawrence Street when a First bus turning right out of James Street struck the corner of the building, sending masonry crashing down.
Mary and Bernadette told the Evening Press last month how they were uninjured, but deeply traumatised by their ordeal, which left the detached £300,000 property partially ruined. They revealed that their home and contents insurance had expired before the crash happened.
The pair were put up in a hotel for a period by First after the accident, but Stephen Davies, who is Mary's son's father-in-law, said then it was uncertain where they would go next.
He called on First to "do the right thing" and ensure they were properly accommodated in the area where they had always lived until their home could be re-built.
Now the sisters' lawyer Nicola Oldham, of Langleys Solicitors, says that following correspondence and telephone calls from the firm, First had admitted liability for the accident and agreed to pay for rental accommodation until their home could be restored.
"A structural engineer is to be appointed to assess the extent of the damage to their property so that steps can be taken to restore the house and the sisters can return to their home," she said.
"I am delighted that since we have taken up their case, liability for the accident has been admitted and we have been able to place Mary and Bernadette in a new home."
Mary said: " We are really pleased that the bus company has admitted responsibility for the accident and that they have agreed to pay for rental accommodation for us in the area."
Peter Edwards, First commercial director, said matters had been placed in the hands of the company's insurers after the accident. "I am pleased if that is the position, and hope they can return to their own home as quickly as possible."
Police said today that the bus driver, who has not been identified, had been interviewed last week.
"Inquiries are ongoing," said PC Martyn Smith, who is in charge of the investigation. Inspections by experts last month revealed that the bus was mechanically sound at the time of the crash.
Very lucky no-one was hurt. The bus was not in service.
I don't think much of the crashworthiness of these buses. :?