17th Oct, 2017

Bus driver charged over Coventry crash which claimed lives of pensioner and boy, 7

A LEAMINGTON bus driver has appeared in court charged with causing the deaths of a seven-year-old boy and a pensioner after a double decker crashed into a supermarket.

Former town mayor Kailash Chander, 79, is accused of losing control of the Stagecoach bus which rammed into the front of the Sainsbury’s store on Trinity Street in Coventry City Centre.

Seven-year-old Rowan Fitzgerald from Leamington was sitting in the top deck when he was killed in the crash which happened at 6pm on October 3, 2015.

The pupil at St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School in Sydenham, was returning from the Ricoh Arena when the tragedy happened.

He was travelling with his grandparents and young cousin, who received treatment for multiple face and head injuries at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Former foster carer Dora Hancox, age 76, also died when she was hit by the bus as she walked past the supermarket.

Kailash appeared at Warwick Crown Court on Monday (October 9) charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The former mayor and Labour councillor sat motionless during the 45-minute hearing where he spoke only to confirm his name.

He was granted unconditional bail with the date of next hearing to be confirmed, provisionally at Birmingham Crown Court in the week commencing December 11.

His employer, Midland Red South Ltd, were in court after pleading guilty to two counts of failing to discharge the employer’s general duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Their hearing was also adjourned until December 11.

An inquest heard Rowan, from Leamington Spa, died from blunt head trauma when the bus hit the top of the shop, while Mrs Hancox, from Nuneaton, suffered multiple injuries.

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