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Double-decker bus crash: "I thought I was going to die"
11:51am Monday 15th October 2012 in News
Teenagers feared for their lives as their college bus overturned into a field off the A350.
Posting on the Echo's stories and on our Facebook page, the passengers have described how they were flung on top of each other and pressed against the bus windows as it flipped onto its side.
They say that it was thanks to a passing driver - who smashed the back window of the bus - that they were able to escape.
Student Jade Elizabeth, said: "I can't tell you how scared I was. It was terrifying. As the bus was tipping I thought it was a dream, but when I got to the ground all covered in glass, I thought, that's it I'm going to die. Thanks to the police, fire brigade and ambulances - we wouldn't be here now."
Robert Cliffe said: "When it first started to lean I thought it was just turning a corner, but as it continued I realised it was tipping over.
Jade ElizabethI thought it was a dream, but when I got to the ground all covered in glass, I thought, that's it, I'm going to die.
"Everyone was lying on top of each other after being thrown out of their seats and were pressed against the window.
"I had managed to pick myself up and saw the girl sat opposite me lying on the floor crying and screaming. Everyone was walking over her to get to the back of the bus, so I held out my hand and picked her up then grabbed my bag and left the bus.
"About a minute or two later the other bus going to our college pulled up and the emergency services were just behind."
Georgie Davis, 18, an agriculture student from Poole, described it as ‘the worst moment of her life’.
“We went flying – people were going everywhere. We were hanging on for dear life. It was absolutely awful. As it turned, I went to stand up and a woman came flying past me and elbowed me in the ribs. There was a girl with learning disabilities next to me and she was scared out of her wits – she was looking for her teddy bear. I ended up standing on the window with a bush underneath and it started to give way so I grabbed hold of the metal and was holding on for dear life.
“We didn’t want to move – we didn’t know where we were. The guy next to me was crushed against the window with people on top of him when it started to give way and he was screaming ‘get off me, get off me, I’m going through the window.’ I’ve never been in such a situation in my life.”
The teenager described how within minutes a driver had stopped and used a spanner to smash his way through the windows to get everybody out before the emergency services arrived. “I wish I could give him a hug,” she added.
“I’m so grateful to him; we would have all been stuck there if it hadn’t been for him.” Incredibly, none of her fellow passengers were seriously hurt.
“There was someone with cuts to his fingers,” she said. “And a woman was having a panic attack and was taken away in the air ambulance and had to be given oxygen – it was awful watching her.
“There were lots of girls crying. Everybody was hugging trying to get hold of their parents to let them know they were okay.
“The atmosphere was so tense. Everybody was in floods of tears – I’ve never been so scared in my life.”
Georgie told the Echo there were no seatbelts on the bus and as it rolled parts of the seats went flying as well as the passengers.
“It’s amazing that no one was seriously hurt. I was expecting to see broken bones and blood everywhere but there wasn’t.”
And Courtney7201 wrote: "I was on the bus at the time and it was terrifying- especially being at the top.
"People sat on the right side, including myself, were flung on top of the people on the left side, and people were squashed on top of us.
"It was so scary- no-one could move and I was told by others that a man in a car beind us had smashed the back window so we could clamber out. If that man is reading now, I'd like to say thank you for helping us."