A3 Hindhead shut after horror crash

Daily Echo: Emergency services at the scene of a coach crash on the A3 near Hindhead in Surrey Emergency services at the scene of a coach crash on the A3 near Hindhead in Surrey

Three people have been killed and 50 injured, some of them seriously, as a coach returning from a music festival overturned after hitting a tree on an embankment.

Emergency services were working at the scene to remove the dead from the coach which was heading back to the Merseyside area following the Bestival event on the Isle of Wight.

Police said the coach was travelling north on the A3 near Hindhead in Surrey at 11.50pm last night when it left the road between the Hindhead tunnel and the exit for Thursley.

No other vehicles are believed to have been involved.

Three people aboard, including the driver, were declared dead at the scene and a fourth passenger was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital with life-changing injuries, Surrey Police said.

South East Coast Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) said 50 people from the coach - all the survivors - were taken to hospitals around the region, some of them with serious injuries.

Inspector Richard Mallett, of Surrey Police, briefing reporters at the scene, said it was not believed that road conditions or the weather were a factor in the crash.

Casualties were taken to the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey, St George's Hospital in Tooting, King's College Hospital in London, Frimley Park Hospital and Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

The coach is understood to have been operated by the company MerseyPride and Surrey Police are working with their counterparts in Merseyside, as well as with the company, to identify the passengers and notify relatives.

Some passengers were taken to a rest centre set up nearby by Waverley Council.

Surrey Police Assistant Chief Constable Jerry Kirkby said: ''This has been declared a major incident and we are working with our colleagues from the other emergency services and other partner agencies to provide a co-ordinated response in line with agreed protocols.

''Our thoughts remain with the relatives of the dead and the injured at this time and we are working very hard to notify their next of kin.''

The road is expected to remain closed for several hours and diversions have been put in place. Motorists are being asked to avoid the area until the road reopens.

Mr Mallett, speaking to Sky News, said: ''We are dealing with a major incident, a tragic major incident. The coach has gone off the road and had a significant impact with a tree, I think that is the best way to describe it.''

Updating reporters later, he said one body had been removed from the coach and two more were still to be recovered.

''The injuries range from life-changing injuries - some people were unconscious when they were taken away from here - we believe some people might lose limbs and certainly there are some life-changing injuries amongst the survivors.

''The priority is to get the people out of the coach and then we can really begin to look at forwarding the investigation.

''We don't think that the road conditions or the weather were a factor in this.''

Asked how long the coach had been on the road, he said: ''We understand that it left the Isle of Wight festival so we are less than an hour from Portsmouth where they come across.

''So less than an hour of this journey. As to what the previous was, we don't know. Again, we need to make sure that we get the people out properly and then we can start looking at things like tacho charts and forwarding the investigation.''

Comments (13)

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9:25am Tue 11 Sep 12

G0Rf says...

sad news...

Wonder where it was heading to?
I would go the M3 if I was heading towards Mersyside from south coast, not A3 as its miles out of the way?
sad news... Wonder where it was heading to? I would go the M3 if I was heading towards Mersyside from south coast, not A3 as its miles out of the way? G0Rf
  • Score: 0

9:41am Tue 11 Sep 12

wossit says...

Yes very sad, But what is the relevance of your second statement ?
Yes very sad, But what is the relevance of your second statement ? wossit
  • Score: 0

10:16am Tue 11 Sep 12

News Fanatic says...

G0Rf wrote:
sad news...

Wonder where it was heading to?
I would go the M3 if I was heading towards Mersyside from south coast, not A3 as its miles out of the way?
Probably was on the Fishbourne to Pompey car ferry. There were very long delays getting off the island yesterday after the pop fest. Even for foot passengers it was taking up to five hours from Cowes.
[quote][p][bold]G0Rf[/bold] wrote: sad news... Wonder where it was heading to? I would go the M3 if I was heading towards Mersyside from south coast, not A3 as its miles out of the way?[/p][/quote]Probably was on the Fishbourne to Pompey car ferry. There were very long delays getting off the island yesterday after the pop fest. Even for foot passengers it was taking up to five hours from Cowes. News Fanatic
  • Score: 0

10:16am Tue 11 Sep 12

G0Rf says...

Comments are allowed here so I am commenting....releve
nce of my second statement =
Prehaps the driver was on M3 rather than A3, prehaps the coach load of tired festival goers were upset he had gone wrong way and giving him greif and he wasnt concentrating on the road as much as he should have been?
Comments are allowed here so I am commenting....releve nce of my second statement = Prehaps the driver was on M3 rather than A3, prehaps the coach load of tired festival goers were upset he had gone wrong way and giving him greif and he wasnt concentrating on the road as much as he should have been? G0Rf
  • Score: 0

10:19am Tue 11 Sep 12

G0Rf says...

News Fanatic wrote:
G0Rf wrote: sad news... Wonder where it was heading to? I would go the M3 if I was heading towards Mersyside from south coast, not A3 as its miles out of the way?
Probably was on the Fishbourne to Pompey car ferry. There were very long delays getting off the island yesterday after the pop fest. Even for foot passengers it was taking up to five hours from Cowes.
Hope he had his tachograph working then
[quote][p][bold]News Fanatic[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]G0Rf[/bold] wrote: sad news... Wonder where it was heading to? I would go the M3 if I was heading towards Mersyside from south coast, not A3 as its miles out of the way?[/p][/quote]Probably was on the Fishbourne to Pompey car ferry. There were very long delays getting off the island yesterday after the pop fest. Even for foot passengers it was taking up to five hours from Cowes.[/p][/quote]Hope he had his tachograph working then G0Rf
  • Score: 0

10:30am Tue 11 Sep 12

mtdiablo says...

Lot of assumptions there G0Rf
Lot of assumptions there G0Rf mtdiablo
  • Score: 0

1:20pm Tue 11 Sep 12

bigfella777 says...

G0Rf wrote:
News Fanatic wrote:
G0Rf wrote: sad news... Wonder where it was heading to? I would go the M3 if I was heading towards Mersyside from south coast, not A3 as its miles out of the way?
Probably was on the Fishbourne to Pompey car ferry. There were very long delays getting off the island yesterday after the pop fest. Even for foot passengers it was taking up to five hours from Cowes.
Hope he had his tachograph working then
The drivers dead, show some respect.
[quote][p][bold]G0Rf[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]News Fanatic[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]G0Rf[/bold] wrote: sad news... Wonder where it was heading to? I would go the M3 if I was heading towards Mersyside from south coast, not A3 as its miles out of the way?[/p][/quote]Probably was on the Fishbourne to Pompey car ferry. There were very long delays getting off the island yesterday after the pop fest. Even for foot passengers it was taking up to five hours from Cowes.[/p][/quote]Hope he had his tachograph working then[/p][/quote]The drivers dead, show some respect. bigfella777
  • Score: 0

2:56pm Tue 11 Sep 12

Huey says...

Terrible, firstly a hit and run on the island itself, and now this.
Take care, drivers and pedestrians alike.
RIP those who did not make it.
Terrible, firstly a hit and run on the island itself, and now this. Take care, drivers and pedestrians alike. RIP those who did not make it. Huey
  • Score: 0

3:40pm Tue 11 Sep 12

MGRA says...

Agree with above comments, very strange route to take to get to Merseyside.
Agree with above comments, very strange route to take to get to Merseyside. MGRA
  • Score: 0

5:56pm Tue 11 Sep 12

wossit says...

Maybe it was a multi drop route
Maybe it was a multi drop route wossit
  • Score: 0

7:16pm Tue 11 Sep 12

Ginger_cyclist says...

My thoughts are with those involved and their families, considering it appears to be a woody area, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of evasive action being taken to avoid a deer or something in the road, I've been on a coach before that had to brake hard because a deer took a leap of stupidity.
My thoughts are with those involved and their families, considering it appears to be a woody area, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of evasive action being taken to avoid a deer or something in the road, I've been on a coach before that had to brake hard because a deer took a leap of stupidity. Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: 0

1:20pm Wed 12 Sep 12

Niel says...

Ginger_cyclist wrote:
My thoughts are with those involved and their families, considering it appears to be a woody area, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of evasive action being taken to avoid a deer or something in the road, I've been on a coach before that had to brake hard because a deer took a leap of stupidity.
Possible, but unlikely as that part of the road was double fenced, with anti-deer fencing nearest the road, IIRC.
[quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: My thoughts are with those involved and their families, considering it appears to be a woody area, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of evasive action being taken to avoid a deer or something in the road, I've been on a coach before that had to brake hard because a deer took a leap of stupidity.[/p][/quote]Possible, but unlikely as that part of the road was double fenced, with anti-deer fencing nearest the road, IIRC. Niel
  • Score: 0

5:32pm Wed 12 Sep 12

Ginger_cyclist says...

Niel wrote:
Ginger_cyclist wrote:
My thoughts are with those involved and their families, considering it appears to be a woody area, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of evasive action being taken to avoid a deer or something in the road, I've been on a coach before that had to brake hard because a deer took a leap of stupidity.
Possible, but unlikely as that part of the road was double fenced, with anti-deer fencing nearest the road, IIRC.
Yeah, best not to speculate until they give out more info, I'm sure at least one of the many surviving passengers will be able to say what happened.
[quote][p][bold]Niel[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: My thoughts are with those involved and their families, considering it appears to be a woody area, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of evasive action being taken to avoid a deer or something in the road, I've been on a coach before that had to brake hard because a deer took a leap of stupidity.[/p][/quote]Possible, but unlikely as that part of the road was double fenced, with anti-deer fencing nearest the road, IIRC.[/p][/quote]Yeah, best not to speculate until they give out more info, I'm sure at least one of the many surviving passengers will be able to say what happened. Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: 0

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