Breaking M4

Seventeen people hurt after coach veered off a motorway slip road and overturns

Thame,Oxfordsire Friday 30th December 2016. Seventeen people were hurt when a coach veered off a motorway slip road and overturned while driving through heavy fog.
The Oxford Bus Company vehicle came off the M40 slip road northbound at junction seven near Thame at 02:45am.

South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) described it a “major incident due to the number of patients involved””.
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Accident investigation work and barrier repairs are being carried out at the site which is enveloped in thick fog.

A spokesman for SCAS said the conditions had presented challenges to the emergency services getting to the scene.

He added: “The male coach driver and 16 adult passengers (a mixture of male and female) had sustained a variety of injuries, such as cuts, bruises and broken bones.

“All 17 patients were taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

“”At the scene we had six ambulances, a rapid response vehicle, three ambulance officers and the trust’s hazardous area response team.””

He said a specialist was also on hand at the hospital’s emergency department “to assist with the arrival of this large volume of patients””.

Mick Clarke from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “It’s still a dynamic incident, things are ongoing, 17 casualties have luckily been removed.
“”The investigation is ongoing and is squarely in the hands of Thames Valley Police.””

A yellow fog warning has been issued for much of southern England with the Met Office saying “freezing fog” could result in poor visibility until the afternoon.

Mr Clarke added: “The M40 goes through several altitude changes where you dip into the valleys and up again and some areas can be more prevalent to fog, so you can be driving along nice and clear at one point and then hit steady fog banks.
“We’ve got some really tricky weather conditions this week, it has been quite changeable.

“We have had real thick patches of fog in different areas with freezing temperatures which lead to these slippery conditions.”

Thames Valley Police said the slip road would be closed for several hours while recovery work takes place.

A similar crash happened near the same spot six years ago where 17 people were also taken to hospital when an Oxford Tube bus overturned.

A woman died and several other people were injured in four separate crashes involving more than 20 cars on the A40 in Oxfordshire on Wednesday. ©UKNIP