Thursday, April 01, 2010

Sadly, another life has been lost through not wearing a seat belt.

A teenage schoolgirl who died when a coach carrying pupils to a theme park crashed during a blizzard was described as a "popular, fun loving and caring" young woman.



Natasha Paton, 17, was killed when she was thrown from the bus and trapped underneath the vehicle in a small river. She was only found after a head count revealed that she was missing. The bus was taking 39 pupils and five teachers from Lanark Grammar School to the Alton Towers theme park when it careered off a stone bridge in "horrendous" weather conditions. The bus was carrying sixth year students on an annual pre-Easter break and had travelled just 12 miles on snow-covered roads when the accident happened in the village of Wiston on the A73 south of Biggar, Lanarkshire.



It is understood that the driver of the bus was trapped and suffered a broken leg. Photoflash Coaches , the operator, said the roads had snow on them but "were not that bad" and the crash was caused by black ice. Police said the bus fell 10ft into a small river after crashing through the bridge parapet. Firemen rescued passengers through a skylight on the vehicle.



I am not sure but this may be a photograph of the coach before the crash as the window behind the driver appears to belong to a Plaxton rather than a Van Hool coach body.

For Natasha Paton to have been thrown out of the coach, she must not have been wearing her seat belt. This really saddens me when passengers ignore instructions and their legal responsibilities to wear a seat belt. Natasha has sadly lost her life through her own ignorance and the other 43 passengers have found that wearing their seat belt is not "Elf and Safety gone mad" but simply "best practice".

Every day throughout the UK, coach passengers ignore the instructions and their own legal responsibilities to wear their seat belts. It annoys me and most other coach drivers when passengers blatantly choose not to wear their seat belts. The driver has no authority to enforce the wearing of seat belts and all the coach operators want in the case of fatalities is to confirm that warnings have been given to passengers before the accident occurred. How many more avoidable deaths have there to be, before the coach passengers take the message on board, that seat belts save lives?
Comments:
it was not ignorance that killed natasha
i was on the bus with her and sat right next to her
yeah sure its better to wear seatbelts but half of us didnt on the bus
i didnt, natasha didnt. but if we did we could of drowned from the water and the others on top of us.
natashas death has hut everyone, especialy her family and friends. so i would like it if you kept your own opinions of what happened to natasha to yourself, none knows what way it could of went if she wore her seatbelt or not so stop saying its her fault. it could go more than one way.
 
Thank you for leaving a comment, I am sorry for your loss. Having worked with buses and coaches for over 30 years I know how things are in the real world. Seat belts save lives and if all the passengers on your coach had been wearing their seat belts then Natasha would not have died. When passengers wear a seat belt they cannot fall on top of another passenger or hit themselves as they are thrown through the air. In the event of the coach crashing into water, the passenger is safely restrained in their seat and can unfasten their belt and climb or swim out of the coach via an emergency exit. As you have sadly witnessed, passengers who are not wearing a seat belt can be thrown through a window and land outside the coach, which could then topple over and trap them.

Life is about managing risks and sadly your class has learned the hard way.
 
seatbelts can work both ways just like airbags, they can save and they cant. only difference is that seatbelts save more than airbags.
that mite be true but if your in a crash with your seatbelt on, waters flooding in and youve had a few bumps to your head or youve been knocked out they can be a threat to your life aswell. when your in such a panic your mind thinks of loads of things and can overlook that you can take off the seatbelt.
and so u know natasha wasnt throwen through the window. and for the crash none is to blaim, why do people always look for someone to blaim even though none can predict the weather. so its not natashas fault she died! its nones fault.
 
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