Monday, March 31, 2008

Sleeping driver probable cause of Austrian coach crash

The crash of the Polish coach in Austria on Saturday morning was probably caused by the driver falling asleep.

One person died and 39 were injured.

According to the Austrian police, the Polish driver fell asleep behind the wheel. The weather conditions were good and the road surface dry. The preliminary inspection of the bus suggests that everything was in order.

The accident happened before 6 am on a highway between the towns of Haid and Sattledt. The coach belonging to Fanklub company from Poznan, western Poland was transporting 55 workers of the heat and power plant Opole on a skiing trip to northern Italy.

The coach suddenly pulled over, crashed through the road side barrier and fell off a 4-metre embankment, turning to its side. A 40-year-old man died and five people were seriously injured.

Out of the 55 passengers, only 11 escaped unscathed. The driver emerged from the crash in severe shock and said only: "I regret that it's not me that died".

Last July, 20 Polish pilgrims died in a coach crash in Grenoble, France.