Families launch court case against coach crash trip organiser

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Freya Smith Carrington after the coach crash. Freya Smith Carrington after the coach crash.

COURT proceedings have been issued against the organiser of a ski trip which resulted in the death of Alvechurch teacher Peter Rippington, and serious injury to both pupils and teachers.

The crash took place in February of this year when staff and pupils from Alvechurch Middle School were returning from a ski-ing holiday in France organised through Interschool Travel Limited, trading as ‘Interski’.

Their coach, which was carrying 29 pupils, 12 teachers, two drivers, and six ski instructors, came off the road near Chalons-en-champagne, close to Rheins in northern France on Sunday, February 19, careering down a grass verge at the side of the road, before rolling over onto its side.

The case is being brought on behalf of 20 children, two teachers and two ski-instructors who were injured in the crash, suffering injuries varying from spinal and limb fractures, and lacerations, to dental injuries, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

12-year-old Freya Smith Carrington from Bromsgrove, suffered an open fracture to her thigh in the crash, meaning her thigh bone not only broke, but also punctured her skin. Nine months later she still needs to use crutches to move around.

Her mother Toni Smith Carrington, said: “Seeing Freya suffering every day because of her injuries is a nightmare. She is in constant pain and it is frustrating as her mother, there is nothing I can do to help. All I can hope for is that we get Freya the treatment and rehabilitation therapy she needs to recover as much as she can from her injuries. She can’t enjoy time with her friends socialising as much as she used to because she just can’t walk very far anymore and struggles when she goes out.”

The English driver of the coach has been charged by the French authorities with involuntary manslaughter. His trial in France is likely to take place in early 2013.

Lawyers representing the families of those seriously injured in the crash issued court proceedings against the trip’s organiser in the High Court in Birmingham on Monday, November 19 on behalf of the victims.

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