Men who died in A47 bus and lorry crash are named
PUBLISHED: 13:21 27 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:06 28 June 2018
Two men who died in a crash between a bus and a lorry on the A47 have been named.
Michael Elcombe, 45, of Cley Road in Swaffham, Norfolk, died when the bus he was driving was involved in a collision with a HGV at about 7.30am yesterday (Tuesday, June 27).
Brian Chapman, 76, of Cherry Road in Kettering, who was a passenger on the bus, also died at the scene.
In addition to the two fatalities, a further 17 people were injured as a result of the collision. Six received serious injuries and the remaining minor. The majority of the people injured were from Peterborough, with one from Hunstanton.
Steve Wickers, managing director at First Eastern Counties buses, said: “It was a very sad day for everyone involved in what was a devastating incident on the A47 in Guyhirn.
“I, along with my local team would like to send our sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues who have lost a loved one from the incident and to extend my thoughts to those who sustained injuries, who I hope all have speedy recoveries.
“I would also like to thank the police and the emergency services for their support in what was a very traumatic situation to manage.”
He described the day after the crash as a “challenge, especially for the colleagues and friends of Michael our driver at King’s Lynn bus depot”.
However he said: “As true professionals and as dedicated as they are, our drivers have all come into work this morning and are providing a full service for customers wanting to travel on our Excel service between Peterborough, King’s Lynn and Norwich.”
Swaffham Town Clerk Richard Bishop added: “On behalf of Swaffham town mayor Colin Houghton, councillors and staff, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of both men who died at the scene on the A47 yesterday - and in particular to the bus driver who was a resident of Swaffham.
“Unfortunately it is yet another sad tragedy for the A47.”
The circumstances of the collision are being investigated but no arrests have been made.
Injuries sustained by those hurt in the crash at around 7.30am range from broken legs to brain injuries, but none are in a life-threatening condition, Inspector Langwith said.
Of the circumstances of the crash, he said: “What we do know is that they have a coming together where the HGV has pulled out of the yard and the bus has collided into the side of it.”
He confirmed the lorry driver had escaped injury.
Around a three-mile stretch of the A47 was closed following the collision and police said it would remain so until at least the early evening.
Footage from the aftermath at the scene showed the bus, which had been travelling eastbound on the road, lodged into the side of the lorry, which appears to have been heading westbound.
North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham passed on his sympathies, thoughts and condolences to the families of the two victims of the recent bus crash.
“This was obviously a horrendous accident, and my heartfelt sympathy and prayers go out to the families of the two victims,” he said.
“I visited the First Eastern King’s Lynn depot a few weeks back, and was able to see for myself the dedication and professionalism amongst a small and close-knit family of drivers.
“I do know that losing one of their own in this way will be a grievous blow, and the thoughts and sympathies of the whole community are also with all of the other drivers and staff of First Eastern.
“It is clearly much too early at this stage to even think about speculating about what happened.
“There is obviously a full and complex ongoing inquiry by both the police and Highways England, as well as by First Eastern and the haulage company.
“I have myself made it clear to the Minister for Transport that if there are any lessons to be learnt from this, then it is essential that he moves into action straight away.”