Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Driver killed in County Durham double bus crash named

The driver of one of the buses died in the crash

Police have named a bus driver who was killed when his vehicle collided head-on with a coach in County Durham.

Gordon Hutchinson, 58, from Lowther Avenue in Chester-le-Street, died at the scene of the incident in the Newfield area of the town on Wednesday.

Three passengers on Mr Hutchinson's 28-seater bus were also injured. The 50-year-old driver of the coach is in a critical condition in hospital.

A investigation into the crash is continuing.

Durham Police said Mr Hutchinson was married with three adult sons all of whom are in their 30s. He worked for Stanley-based Classic Coaches.

County Durham bus crash
Mr Hutchinson died at the scene of the crash

The driver of the 70-seater coach, belonging to Nightingale Coaches also based in Stanley, has not yet been named.

Ian Shipley, managing director of Classic Coaches, which is part of the Arriva Group, said: "This has been a terrible shock for everyone at Classic.

"We are absolutely stunned. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Gordon's family at this sad time.

"We also wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured in this tragic incident."

A 69-year-old man from Pelton Fell suffered fractures to his pelvis and internal injuries. He was taken to James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough by air ambulance. He is described as being in a comfortable condition and stable.

Two women passengers also onboard, aged 72 and 50, both from Newfield, received minor injuries and were treated at the University Hospital of North Durham and released.

The Nightingale coach was not carrying any passengers at the time of the collision.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident which happened at approximately 1600 BST Wednesday.

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