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Wirral bus crash: Driver suffered ‘event’ at wheel before accident on M53 which killed him and schoolgirl, 15 | UK News

A driver suffered an “event” at the wheel before a school bus crash on the M53 in Wirral that killed him and 15-year-old Jessica Baker, Liverpool Coroner’s Court has heard.

Stephen Shrimpton, 40, was driving the bus – which had 54 people on board – to West Kirby Grammar School and Calday Grange Grammar School when it crashed last Friday.

The senior coroner for Liverpool and the Wirral, Andre Rebello, said CCTV footage from inside the coach showed Mr Shrimpton slump to his left while driving the coach.

At the same time, the coach left the carriageway and went up an embankment before falling on its side.

Jessica suffered “instantaneous” death from “catastrophic” injuries, though the exact circumstances of how she was killed depend on an ongoing police investigation.

Picture of 15-year-old Jessica Baker, who died in Liverpool bus crash
Picture of 15-year-old Jessica Baker, who died in Liverpool bus crash

While further medical results will be released, the most likely cause of Jessica’s death will remain a severe head injury, Mr Rebello said.

It appears Jessica was “partially ejected” from the vehicle, Mr Rebello added, with the coach landing on her, causing “certainly instantaneous fatal head injuries”.

Mr Rebello said it was “miraculous” nobody else died.

“At approximately 8.03am, the road traffic incident occurred and the coach, travelling northbound, collided with the embankment on the nearside and the coach came down on its side, causing fatal injury, life-changing injury and serious injury and lots of minor injuries,” he said.

Read more:
Survivor describes ‘shock’ and flashbacks after M53 crash
Family of Jessica pay tribute to ‘warm hearted’ girl

“Given the extent of the collision, it is miraculous that there were not more fatalities.

“The court has been briefed by the road collision unit investigation and the CCTV footage within the coach.

“It is fairly evident that the driver has suffered an event whereby he is seen to slump to his left side and it is at this time that the vehicle leaves the carriageway.”

Further medical examinations will be needed to establish Mr Shrimpton’s cause of death, Mr Rebello added, with focus on his heart’s condition.

‘Bags are everywhere’

A teenager who was on the coach told Sky News they were all just “chatting” on their phones when “all of a sudden, nothing seemed real”.

“I looked around and there’s just people lying down everywhere. Bags are everywhere,” the pupil added, speaking anonymously on Sunday.

“There’s glass everywhere. And it’s just like blood everywhere. I’ve seen both my mates on the floor, but I thought they were dead.

“I looked around again and saw a girl stood next to me. I was in shock, I put my hand on my face. I looked back at my hand and it was covered in blood, I remember saying, this can’t be my blood.”

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In an anonymous interview, a boy recalls how there was ‘blood everywhere’ in the aftermath of the crash

After the crash, four other children were taken to hospital, including a 14-year-old boy whose injuries are said to be “life-changing”, according to Merseyside Police.

Another 13 were treated for minor injuries before they were released.

The inquest was told Mr Shrimpton was pronounced dead at the scene at 8.50am and formally identified by his wife Tania Shrimpton.

Jessica was also pronounced dead at the roadside at 9.01am, and identified by her father, Shaun Baker, a nurse.

‘Clarity over seat-belts needed’

Mr Rebello said anyone over the age of 14 is responsible themselves by law for wearing a seat belt, but added clarity was needed over the rules on coaches and buses.

He said he intends to write to the Department for Transport for more information.

“I am old enough to remember the Tufty Club and the Green Cross Code and the public information films about, ‘Clunk Click every trip’,” he added.

“And clearly, because I am now considered very old, I suspect there are generations who have never seen these public information films and may not be fully aware that the chances of severe injury or fatal injury are so much reduced by wearing of a seat belt.”

A full inquest will be heard on 20 March next year.

Chris Fountain reveals he suffered mini stroke: Hollyoaks and Coronation Street star says he was left ‘speaking like a toddler’ after blood clot | Ents & Arts News

Former Hollyoaks and Coronation Street star Chris Fountain has revealed he is to undergo surgery after suffering a mini stroke which left him “speaking like a toddler”, according to a newspaper report.

The 35-year-old star said he might have died had he not got to hospital as quickly as he did.

Fountain, who played Justin Burton in Hollyoaks from 2004 to 2009, and Tommy Duckworth in Coronation Street from 2011 to 2013, spoke about his ordeal in an interview with the Daily Mirror.

He said he spent five days in hospital in London after waking up at home and being unable to speak properly in August.

Doctors told him he had suffered a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) – known as a mini stroke – after a blood clot lodged in his brain, the actor said.

“I woke up one morning and knew something wasn’t right,” he told the newspaper. “My mum called me and I just couldn’t get my words out. I started walking round my house looking at things and I could think what the word was, like television or fridge, but I couldn’t say it.

“I called 111 on my mum’s advice and they sent an ambulance for me, it was so scary.

More on Coronation Street

“I felt stupid because I knew exactly what I wanted to say to the doctors, but I couldn’t get the words out, I was speaking like a toddler, I was really embarrassed.”

Fountain said he became emotional and cried when doctors informed him what had happened.

“What’s scary is if I hadn’t have called 111 when I did and got to hospital so quickly I don’t know if that clot could have travelled to the wrong place in my brain, I could have died,” he said. “That clot was like a ticking bomb in my head.”

Fountain underwent tests at a specialist stroke unit at the Royal London Hospital, where medics determined he had a hole in his heart which caused the blood clot.

He will now have to have a small operation to mend the hole, according to the report, and it is hoped this will prevent any more clots travelling to his brain.

As well as his acting career, Fountain also appeared on Dancing On Ice in 2008. However, he was axed from Coronation Street after videos emerged of him rapping about violence against women, for which he apologised at the time.