M4 crash: Minibus victims from Prior’s Court, Thatcham

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Media captionAerial footage shows the scene of the crash involving a minibus and lorry

Two people who died in a crash involving a lorry and a minibus on the M4 motorway were from a school for people with autism, it has emerged.

The victims were staff members at Prior’s Court School, and were travelling in the minibus.

The eastbound carriageway of the M4 was closed for more than nine hours after the crash, in Berkshire, on Thursday.

The school in Thatcham confirmed three young adults and three other members of staff were also in the minibus.

The three staff members suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash, at 12:20 BST, and were taken to hospitals in Oxford and Bristol, South Central Ambulance Service said.

Image copyright INS News
Image caption The crash happened on the eastbound carriageway of the M4

In a statement, Prior’s Court said it was “devastated” about the crash, which happened on the eastbound carriageway between junction 14 at Hungerford and junction 13 at Newbury.

Thames Valley Police have appealed for anyone who saw what happened or has dashcam footage to contact them.

The young adults suffered less serious injuries and were taken to hospitals in Swindon and Reading. The lorry driver was also taken to hospital after suffering minor injuries.

Image copyright INS News
Image caption A lorry and minibus were involved in the crash

Mike Robinson, Prior’s Court chief executive, said the young adults, who have severe autism, were on their way back after a regular work placement session when the crash happened.

“I send my deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the two people who lost their lives,” he said.

“At this time, there are three further staff members receiving treatment and my thoughts are very much with them and their families.

“In such tragic circumstances, we are grateful that all the young people involved are safe and without serious injuries, and we will be doing everything we can to safeguard their wellbeing at hospital and upon their return.”

The school said all those affected were receiving support from specialist police family liaison officers.


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