Warwick and Leamington MP to meet with family of schoolboy who died in bus crash

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western.
Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western is set to meet with the family of the Leamington schoolboy who died in bus crash.

This week a jury found that the bus driver - former Leamington mayor Kailash Chander - caused the death of Rowan Fitzgerald, and the death of 76-year-old Dora Hancox, by dangerous driving.

Mr Chander was found unfit to stand trial at Birmingham Crown Court on medical grounds.

But following a finding of the facts trial, to establish if the 80-year-old committed the offences, a jury found he did cause two deaths by dangerous driving.

He was also found to have caused serious injury by dangerous driving.

Seven-year-old Rowan Fitzgerald, from Leamington, and pedestrian Dora Hancox, 76, from Nuneaton, were both killed in the crash on October 3, 2015.

Rowan’s family issued a statement where they called for changes in the law to prevent a similar tragedy.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western has now said that he will be meeting with Rowan’s family to help push for change.

He said: “This was a tragedy that should never have happened.

“I understand the driver has been found guilty of dangerous driving, causing two deaths and two injuries and it has now been confirmed that Stagecoach, the bus operator involved, has pleaded guilty to offences under the health and safety at work act and is awaiting sentence now due on November.

“It would seem to me that this has been a terrible case of corporate irresponsibility if not worse.

“It is interesting that the prosecution has not pushed for corporate manslaughter given the details of this case.

“This evidence underlines how the business chose not to track the hours being worked by its employees, so risking the lives of passengers, the public at large and even its own staff.

“The EU Working Time Directive is absolutely clear that since 2005 the acceptable and permissible level for anyone to work is 56 hours a week and a maximum of 90 hours over any two week period.

“We are told that the driver in this case was allowed to operate a bus for 75 hours per week for three weeks.

“I will be meeting with the family soon to fully understand what can be done to ensure this never happens again.

“I will then be pressing for changes through Parliament.”