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Schoolgirl killed as field trip minibus crashes with bin lorry

Police attending the scene of the fatal crash involving a school minibus and a bin lorry in the Castle Vale area of Birmingham. Photo from Richard Vernalls/PA Wire.
Richard Vernalls and David Wilcock, Press Association

A 14-year-old girl has died after a minibus carrying school pupils on a field trip collided with a bin lorry.

The teenager was on a bus carrying 21 students from John Taylor High School in Staffordshire which crashed on the A38 Kingsbury Road in Birmingham at around 9am on Friday.

A second teenage girl was taken to hospital with minor injuries and others were treated at the scene in the Castle Vale area of the city, emergency services said.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said the dead girl "suffered serious injuries in the collision and unfortunately it immediately became apparent that nothing could be done to save her and she was confirmed dead at the scene".

The bus was also carrying four adults - the driver and three teachers, West Midlands Police said.

No arrests have been made; however, police said that both drivers were assisting with the "detailed and thorough" investigation.

Superintendent Dean Hatton, head of the central motorway police group (CMPG), said emergency services were called to "an extremely tragic incident" on the road on Friday morning, which would have been busy with rush-hour traffic.

Speaking to reporters at the scene, he said: "Unfortunately, it became clear nothing could be done at the scene to save the life of the young girl and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Next of kin have been informed and I've got specialist officers with the family now to support them at this very difficult time.

"We've been in close contact with our colleagues at Staffordshire Police and been liaising with the headteacher at the John Taylor High School and all relevant support is being provided by the school and by our colleagues."

Asked if the pupils were wearing seat-belts, he replied: "That will be part of our investigation and, at the moment, I can't confirm either way whether or not pupils were wearing seat-belts or otherwise."

He said he would not speculate on the cause of the collision.

At the scene a detailed forensic examination was under way to try to piece together exactly how the bin lorry and the small coach came together.

From the roadside, damage to the waste truck's front end was visible.

The rear right-hand portion of the minibus had been covered over with a green tarpaulin.

Officers have been carrying out skid tests and taking distance markings on the dual carriageway.

Machine worker Stephen Jones, 38, who works nearby, said: "I heard a big bang at 9am this morning - a massive bang.

"I came over and had a look and the police were here with the sirens and they'd shut it all.

"I saw the coroner's ambulance and I heard a girl had passed away."

He added: "There are a lot of accidents here all the time, it's a busy road."

Birmingham City Council confirmed one of its bin lorries was involved in the crash.

In a statement, it said: "We are deeply saddened by the death of a teenage girl this morning on Kingsbury Road and our thoughts are with her family, friends and all those affected.

"As a city council trade waste vehicle was involved in the incident we will be fully co-operating with all investigations."


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