Ski trip coach crash: was the driver trying to change a DVD?

Mar 16, 2012

New theory emerges as it transpires that a British boy was among the 22 children who died

Jeff J Mitchell

BELGIUM will today hold a national day of mourning for the 28 victims, including 22 children, of this week's ski bus crash in Switzerland, as investigators look into the theory that the driver lost control as he tried to change a DVD.
It has also been revealed that one of the young victims was British. Sebastian Bowles, who was 11, grew up in London but moved to Belgium with his family two years ago. Like many of the other victims, he was a pupil at St Lambertus School in the Belgian town of Heverlee.

The BBC says his parents, Edward and Ann Bowles, returned to Brussels last night after identifying Sebastian's body in Switzerland.

According to The Sun, Sebastian had written a message on the school blog saying how much he had enjoyed the trip to the Alps and telling his parents: "I can already ski quite well".
Meanwhile, the investigation into the cause of the crash continues, hampered by the fact that the driver and his co-driver were both killed.

The crash happened when the coach clipped a kerb in the two-mile long tunnel, veered across two lanes of traffic and ploughed into the right angled-corner of a safety bay. The force of the impact ripped the seats from the floor.
The Daily Telegraph says that some of the survivors from the school party have told their parents they saw the driver trying to insert a DVD before the accident.
Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws first reported the DVD theory, but the bus company Toptours later claimed that passengers would not have been able to see into the drivers' cabin, while Swiss investigators say that CCTV footage is inconclusive.
Initial reports suggested that the driver could have been speeding but footage from the tunnel does not support the claim. It also showed that the passengers seemed to be wearing seatbelts.

As the bodies of the dead are repatriated to Belgium today, three children remain critically ill in hospital in Lausanne.

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