Guilty plea in M55 bus hell

Pictures Martin Bostock'Emergency services at the scene of a minibus crash on the M55 motorway into Blackpool.
Pictures Martin Bostock'Emergency services at the scene of a minibus crash on the M55 motorway into Blackpool.
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A WOMAN has admitted causing a horror crash on the M55 as she drove care home residents to a seaside break.

Sylvia Jeffries was behind the wheel of the Ford minibus when it veered across three lanes of the M55 before flipping over onto the hard shoulder.

And yesterday it was revealed the 50-year-old had been on her mobile phone at the time of the smash, which closed the busy motorway for two hours.

The bus was carrying three residents – who all had physical or mental disabilities – and two carers from a Sheffield care home to the resort for a trip on Friday, September 7, last year.

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard all the occupants of the bus, including Jeffries, were injured and one had to spend 20 days in hospital and have extensive skin grafts after suffering severe lacerations.

Jefferies, from Rotherham, did not appear at the court but sent a letter admitting driving without due care and attention.

Stephen Burns, prosecuting, said: “The accident took place at 4pm and tests on Jeffries mobile phone revealed it was active at the time.

“Just before the last junction on the M55 the bus was approaching another vehicle at speed from behind.

“The bus then swerved and hit the central reservation careering along it for fifty yards.

“It then rebounded across the carriageways rolling over and ending on the hard shoulder.

“She was in a position of being a person with a duty of care to those in the bus and was driving in the course of her employment.”

Jeffries had admitted she was contacting a colleague who was already in Blackpool, and has since lost her job.

Magistrates said they were considering banning her from driving and adjourned the hearing for her to attend on April 4.

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