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Monday, March 8, 1999 Published at 19:19 GMT


Teenager hurt in schoolbus crash

A teenager has been severely hurt after a school minibus crashed on the Newbury bypass in Berkshire.

The 15-year-old boy suffered head injuries and was flown by helicopter to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital. There are believed to be 14 other casualties, 10 of them children.

The accident happened at about 3.30pm at the Tothill roundabout on the northbound carriageway, near Highclere, on the Hampshire-Berkshire border. One other car was reportedly involved in the crash.

The 14 casualties suffered minor injuries and were taken in six ambulances to the North Hampshire Hospital at Basingstoke.

The minibus was carrying 10 other pupils and two teachers from Oakham independent school in Rutland, who had been on a weekend trip to the New Forest as part of the Duke of Edinburgh bronze award scheme.

Keen cyclists

Brian Welford, Senior Master at the boarding school, said the trip began on Saturday afternoon and the group had stayed at a Youth Hostel in the New Forest.

"Most of the children were day pupils at the school. They were very keen cyclists," he said. "All were members of the cycling club at Oakham.

"All the parents of the children who were involved have been contacted. One of the boys was seriously injured in the accident.

"The lad's housemaster and police have visited his parents at their home in Oakham, and they are on their way to the hospital."

The two adults - a mathematics teacher and a modern languages teacher - were both leaders of the school's cycling club and had taken children on similar trips before. One of them was driving the minibus.

The crash created major rush-hour traffic problems as police closed the northbound carriageway of the A34 to clear the area of debris.

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