Death crash survivors ‘told everyone on the coach trip was accounted for’

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SURVIVORS of a bus crash that killed a teenage girl were told everyone involved in the accident had been accounted for, an inquiry has heard.

Ross Allan, 29, a chemistry teacher who was on the bus, told how an official from the fire brigade had informed him that 
no-one was missing in the wake of the incident.

Mr Allan was giving evidence at a fatal accident inquiry at Lanark Sheriff Court yesterday into the death of 17-year-old Natasha Paton.

Natasha, from the village of Cleghorn near Lanark, died after the bus collided with a bridge on the A73 near Biggar and tumbled down an embankment. 
Raymond Munro, 63, was at the wheel of the coach taking 39 pupils and staff from Lanark Grammar School to Alton Towers theme park in March, 2010.

Under questioning, Mr Allan, who suffered a broken wrist, broken hand and three broken ribs, said he and a colleague, Alison Murray, had tried to complete a headcount.

He said: “At no point did any pupil tell me anyone was missing. After the first count, the numbers didn’t match to what they should have been. The initial count was 36 and the police told us to do another count. It wasn’t until the fire brigade arrived that they took control and got everyone in the one place.

“The pupils were put into the back of an empty truck. We were then told that everyone had been accounted for.”

The inquiry before Sheriff Nikola Stewart will resume on Tuesday.