Published on Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Coach driver charged with manslaughter

A British coach driver who crashed while bringing a group of school children home from a ski holiday in Italy has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and involuntarily causing injury.

The driver, Derek Thompson, 47, is suspected of falling asleep at the wheel as he drove the pupils from Alvechurch School in Worcestershire home from a holiday organised by school trip specialist Interski (see previous story)

Teacher Peter Rippington, 59, died when the coach veered off the motorway down an embankment and several children and adults were injured. Seven people remain in hospital, including a 13-year-old girl who is believed to have had surgery in Paris.

Thompson has been released and allowed to return to the UK on condition he will return to France to appear before a French court at a later day. Police said there was no evidence of him speeding or having worked excessive hours before the crash.

A statement on Interski’s website said: "We observe the strictest adherence to all legal, professional and operational requirements. Drivers’ duty hours are rigorously controlled and verified by tachograph readings. The current regime is applied by European legislation. Our compliance is total."

By Diane Evans and Linsey McNeill

Your Comments

, be the first to post a comment.
Your email:

Email other comments made to this story
Code Request a new picture 5 characters

NOTE: Comments are subject to admin approval before being posted.
Mole Poll
'Britain follows US and bans electronics from cabin baggage' Good or Bad move ?
Good 52.36 %
Bad 47.64 %

Thank you for your vote

Move scroll bar (above) left to right for more videos!

Sponsored features

It's upgrade time at

Recently, roomsXML has launched its new version of API, which brings significant upgrades to its already reliable API. By upgrading the API, clients now have the ability to search for multiple hotels of their choice in a single request. This allows them complete freedom to only search for hotels they wish to sell.