Investigations ongoing into GHA driver incident

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Investigations are ongoing into how a GHA Coaches Optare Solo became stuck part way up an embankment in rural Shropshire after social media reports that appeared to contradict the driver and operator’s account went viral.

GHA Coaches said it had suspended the driver following the crash between Merrington and Old Woods at Bomere Heath, near Shrewsbury, at about 0800hrs on Tuesday (October 20). Initial reports from GHA Coaches had said that the driver had been taking evasive action to avoid an oncoming car.

However, comments from those claiming to be passengers onboard the bus appeared to contradict that view after a photo of the scene was posted on BBC Radio Shropshire’s Facebook page. The image of the Optare Solo lodged up an embankment while working the Shropshire Council-contracted route 576 Oswestry to Shrewsbury, via Bashurch went viral on Facebook, but was removed later the following day. BBC Radio Shropshire told CBW that it was rare to remove posts but it had been forced to take action after some of the comments were becoming libellous. “Some people don’t understand the concept of libel,” a spokesperson said.

A West Mercia Police spokesperson said: “An investigation is currently ongoing to establish the circumstances and cause of the collision, no arrests have been made.”

Stephen Bryce, General Manager of GHA Coaches, said he had received conflicting reports over what had taken place – and that the driver would not return to the road until his driving had been assessed.