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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 February 2006, 17:48 GMT
Head's tribute to 'lovely' pupil
Colin Hirst

A head teacher has told how breaking the news of a pupil's death to his parents was the most difficult thing he has ever had to do.

Colin Hirst, head at Thomas Mills High School, told Stuart Dines' parents their son had died in a crash involving a lorry and two coaches in Germany.

He was among 55 pupils from the Suffolk school on their way to a ski resort.

Mr Hirst described 14-year-old Stuart, from Woodbridge, Suffolk, as a "lovely, lovely student."

The head said Stuart had been "a very active and popular member of the school... not just with pupils but with staff".

Rugby team

Stuart's friends and teachers are also in shock, he added.

"In the short time that I had been here I had come to know Stuart as a very active, popular member of the School community.

"Popular not just with pupils but with staff as well.

"He involved himself in the life of the school, he represented the school rugby team, he was a member of the trampolining club."

It is thought Stuart was killed by a piece of metal from the lorry which smashed through one of the coach windows.

Mr Hirst said telling Stuart's parents "was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my professional career".

All of the five other pupils taken to hospital had been released, Mr Hirst told BBC News.

One girl had a dislocated jaw and another a fractured wrist following the crash near the German city of Cologne, he added.

In pictures: Bus crash in Germany
11 Feb 06 |  In Pictures

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