7 dead in bus crash, driver denies dozing off

22nd May 2006, Comments 0 comments

22 May 2006, BRUSSELS — The driver of the Belgian bus that crashed in Spain on Sunday killing seven people has denied he fell asleep at the wheel.

22 May 2006

BRUSSELS — The driver of the Belgian bus that crashed in Spain on Sunday killing seven people has denied he fell asleep at the wheel.

The bus crashed at about 9.15am on the A1 motorway from Madrid to Burgos where the road starts to climb the Spanish Alps.

The vehicle veered from the road and collided against a tree, tearing its roof off on impact. The victims were crushed underneath the bus.

Seven people were killed in the accident and 23 others injured, six of them critically. One of the deceased victims is an 18-month-old child.

The bus — with 33 people, including two drivers — was en route to Brussels from Morocco. All passengers were of Moroccan ancestry, several of whom have Belgian nationality.

It was initially suspected a burst tyre caused the accident, but Spanish reports later accused the driver of human error.

However, the driver has denied falling asleep at the wheel. He said he respected the regulatory rest stops and cannot understand why he is being accused of dozing off.

The man told Belgian broadcaster RTL that a motorist driving behind the bus didn't notice anything strange either.

The bus driver believes he lost control over the vehicle due to a burst tyre, denying that it was overloaded. He stressed the bus was also in sound mechanical condition.

It has been reported that the bus passed a technical examination about a week ago and underwent repairs a month ago, when the tyres and shock absorbers were replaced.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news + Spanish news

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