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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 14:58 GMT
DNA tests on bus death woman
North Road, Durham
The elderly woman was crossing North Road in Durham
DNA tests are being carried out in an effort to identify an elderly woman who died after being dragged almost half-a-mile by a bus in Durham.

The 86-year-old was eventually thrown clear of the single-decker bus, in the incident on Monday afternoon.

She suffered multiple injuries and was declared dead at the scene.

Durham Police say it could be a week before the woman is identified.

A police spokesman said the driver of the Arriva service 44 bus was not aware of the incident until he was stopped by police four miles away in Ushaw Moor.

He is to be interviewed about the tragedy and the bus is being examined by forensic experts.

CCTV footage of the incident is also being examined.

The woman was believed to have been caught under the rear wheels as she crossed North Road, shortly after midday.

The police spokesman said: "We have the incident recorded on CCTV cameras within Durham city.

"We are also speaking to a number of witnesses we have identified so far.

"The driver of the bus will be interviewed shortly.

"It would appear the woman was crossing North Road towards the bus station, when she was in collision with a bus exiting the station."

He said a number of shoppers witnessed the accident and tried to raise the alarm.

Woman thrown clear

A spokesman for Arriva North East said: "We send our condolences to the family and friends of the lady.

"Of course we are working closely with the police and the relevant authorities to establish how this accident happened."

A police car was quickly at the scene but the bus driver had continued along his route, apparently unaware of what had happened, the Arriva spokesman said.

The pensioner was finally thrown clear at traffic lights outside St Margaret's Hospital, about half-a-mile from the collision, where she was found with multiple injuries.

Police said it was unclear how many passengers were on the bus at the time.




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