Coach driver jailed after fatal coach crash

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Martin Chun was driving for Carmel Coaches, which was stripped of the licence for unrelated issues shortly after the incident
Martin Chun was driving for Carmel Coaches, which was stripped of the licence for unrelated issues shortly after the incident

A coach driver has been found guilty of killing two women in a road traffic collision and jailed.

Martin Chun, 59, was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Truro Crown Court. He had denied causing the deaths of Margaret Luxton, 59, and Carol Muldoon, 68, who died when the coach crashed near Looe in Cornwall in May 2014.

He received a five year sentence for death by dangerous driving and a concurrent sentence of two years for causing serious injury by dangerous driving, along with a four year driving ban.

Mr Chun had been driving for Carmel Coaches, which had its licence revoked by Traffic Commissioner Sarah Bell in July 2014. Sarah Bell said she had put the accident out of her mind before concluding the investigation into the operator.

The court heard Mr Chun was using a hands-free mobile when he crashed.

The coach was carrying 51 passengers on an Age Concern trip when it crashed on a steep hill at Morval, near Looe. Mr Chun told the court the vehicle’s brakes failed before the accident, which left two people dead and four others seriously injured.

Inspector Andy Hamilton from the Roads Policing Team said: “This tragic case is another reminder that distractions behind the wheel can kill.

“Mr Chun was using a hands-free set to make a number of calls throughout the journey, including one that was over eight minutes in duration at the time of the crash.

“Mr Chun admitted in Court that he missed a number of roadside warning signs while on the phone, which led him to approach a bend on the road at and unsafe speed. He may have been using a hands-free set, yet was still distracted and this has resulted in families having their loved ones taken from them.

“I hope today’s verdict will allow those affected by this incident, and those who have lost loved ones, to gain some level of closure.”

Mr Chun had denied one count of causing death by dangerous driving and an alternative count of causing death by careless driving. He had also pleaded not guilty to a third charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. The jury returned a majority verdict after a six-day trial.