A COACH driver described to jurors how he lost consciousness at the wheel as he drove along a Hampshire motorway.

Peter Huggett, is said to have veered off the M27, up onto the embankment before coming back down across all three lanes of the motorway as he drove a packed National Express coach between London and Poole, the court heard.

Jurors have been told the cause could have been him falling asleep at the wheel as the incident happened between junctions two and one on the westbound carriage.

Giving evidence at Southampton Crown Court, Huggett said: “I recall that I was going along quite normally, I’d become very hot from within, not like a sweating, like a burning, boiling hot.

“I have never had it before, it just felt like your head was going to explode, like it builds up inside.”

He continued: “The next thing that I can recall is really coming back on to the carriageway and getting the coach back under control again back onto the hard shoulder.”

He said the last thing he remembered was that he was going to open the window, but said he did not try to open it.

Huggett said he had decided, after checking on passengers and damage to the vehicle, to carry on to Ringwood because he did not believe passengers were safe if he stopped on the hard shoulder.

Huggett, with 25 years’ coach driving experience, said he had felt fine on the morning of the incident on August 28, 2009.

Asked by prosecutor Eleanor Fargin why he had not mentioned fainting in the incident form for his employers, Huggett said he had mentioned it during an employer interview.

The court also heard a transcript of an interview conducted by PC Claire Scammell after the bus, carrying 49 people, was met by police at Ringwood.

Huggett had told officers: “I was feeling a bit hot, so I was trying to open the side window. The next thing I knew, the coach was veering into lane two.

“I realised what I was doing and then steered into the hard shoulder to stop.”

Asked what caused him to lose control, he told the officer: “Whether I lost consciousness or dropped off I don’t know.”

Huggett, 55, of Green Road, Poole, denies one count of dangerous driving.