Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 13:14 UK

Coach death driver pleads guilty

The coach being taken away for examination
The crash happened on the M4/M25 slip road

A National Express coach driver has pleaded guilty to causing the deaths of three passengers by dangerous driving in a crash near Heathrow Airport.

Philip Rooney, from Lanarkshire, was driving the London-to-Aberdeen service when it overturned on the M4/M25 slip road in January 2007.

Mr Rooney, 48, pleaded guilty to three counts when he appeared at the Old Bailey.

He was released on bail until 24 November when he will be sentenced.

Two people died soon after the crash and a third died six months later.

No safety problems

Christina Toner, 76, from Dundee, and Yi Di Lin, 30, a Chinese national, died in the crash while John Carruthers, 78, of Chertsey, Surrey died in hospital on 1 July.

The accident involved a Neoplan Skyliner operated by Trathens Coaches.

Following the incident, National Express immediately suspended use of the 12 double-decker coaches operating on its network.

No safety problems were found with the coaches which were reinstated five months later.

Rooney will be sentenced at Oxford Crown Court.


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