Hen do trip passenger tells of horror crash on M62

A passenger on a hen party minibus has told a court about a horror crash on the M62.

By Court reporter
Wednesday, 15th October 2014, 12:49 pm
Bethany Jones
Bethany Jones

Leeds Crown Court has heard how the journey ended in tragedy. Passenger Bethany Jones, 18, of South Elmsall, died and 19 other women on the trip were injured after their minibus was in collision with a lorry.

Hen party member Janine Hurcomb said she suffered two punctured lungs, three broken ribs, a shoulder injury and lacerations to her head in the smash at Junction 32, Pontefract in April 2013.

Mrs Hurcomb earlier told the court how the minibus was on the A1 when she became aware of a really concerning smell.

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Passengers asked minibus driver James Johnson if he needed to stop and if he should be more concerned about the smell himself.

Mrs Hurcomb said the minibus pulled over and the driver got out.

But she added: “He wasn’t out long. He walked round the bus and back on again. I don’t think he was checking on anything in particular.

“I think he did it so we would probably stop nagging him.”

The court heard how the bus, which had a mechanical fault, later drove onto the M62 but it got slower and slower.

Mrs Hurcomb, who was on the hen do but is also has experience of driving minibuses, said: “I remember thinking why didn’t he just pull over. It was not safe to be on this motorway. We were going way, way too slow.”

Minibus driver James Johnson, 64, of Whytecote End, Wyke, Bradford, has already pleaded guilty to causing Miss Jones’s death by dangerous driving. But trucker Kevin Ollerhead, 45, of Lincoln Crescent, St Helens, denies the same charge, saying he could do nothing to avoid the collision.

His trial continues.

Please see this week’s Express series for an in depth report on the case,