STUDENTS have told how they thought they were going to die after a bus crashed and flipped over.
Emergency workers say it was a “miracle” no one was killed after the double-decker carrying 56 college students crashed then flipped onto its side yesterday morning.
Seven students and their driver were treated in hospital and 22 other students were injured after the “terrifying” accident on the way to Kingston Maurward College.
The 13-tonne bus careered off the road, near Lytchett Minster, landing on its side in a field at the bottom of an eight-foot embankment.
Panicked students were forced to escape via the rear windows after clambering over broken glass and smashed seats.
The fully trained driver, a 27-year-old Poole man, was being tutored on the route when the accident occurred, it has been confirmed.
He was being monitored by another experienced driver and was later treated in hospital for shock.
Victim Jade Elizabeth said: “It was terrifying. As it was tipping I thought it was a dream.
“I then thought, that’s it I’m going to die.
“Thanks to police, fire brigade and ambulances, or we wouldn’t be here now.”
Other students reported “hanging on for dear life” after the bus lost control along a relatively straight section of the A350.
None of the hospitalised victims sustained serious injuries.
Police, fire, paramedics and the air ambulance attended the scene, shortly after 8.14am yesterday.
Dorset Police Sgt Joe Pardey said: “The First Bus travelling between Kinson and Kingston Maurward College had 56 passengers on board.
“It was travelling northbound on the A350 when it left the road on its nearside and rolled onto its side.
“As a result of that 51 passengers were taken to Gravel Hill police station in Poole where they were treated by paramedics for shock and any minor injuries.”
First Bus managers attended the aftermath while specially trained Dorset Police crash investigators worked to establish what had caused the accident.
The 60mph road remained closed most of yesterday until the bus was recovered by crane.
Police have urged any witnesses to contact them.
‘We just went flying, people were going everywhere’
Georgie Davis, 18, an agriculture student from Poole, described the crash as “the worst moment of my 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.
“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.”
The teenager described how within minutes a driver had stopped and used to spanner to smash his way through the windows to get everybody out.
“There were lots of girls crying. Everybody was hugging and trying to get hold of their parents to let themknow they were okay.”