A bus company in the UK has been fined £2.3 million on Tuesday (27) for significant health and safety failings which permitted a fatigued Indian-origin driver Kailash Chander to drive the bus that ended in a crash causing the deaths of two people.
The case is pertaining to Coventry bus crash that killed seven-year-old passenger Rowan Fitzgerald and 76-year-old pedestrian Dora Hancox in October 2015.
Both died when a double-decker bus, driven by Kailash Chander, who was then aged 77, careered out of control and crashed into Sainsbury’s supermarket.
Midland Red South Limited pleaded guilty to health and safety offences at an earlier hearing, namely failure to ensure the safety of members of the public and their employees in allowing Chander to work so many hours despite many warnings about his driving performance.
At Birmingham Crown Court, they were fined £2,335,000 and ordered to pay costs, said West Midlands Police in a release.
Chander, who now suffers from dementia, was charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, however, he was found unfit to stand trial on medical grounds.
He was given a two-year supervision order under the Insanity Act which means he must receive supervised care for a number of medical conditions.
Judge Paul Farrer said in his ruling that “the failings of the company were a significant cause” of the accident.
“A moving bus is a potentially lethal piece of machinery and (Midland Red) should have been making sure their drivers were fit to drive at all times,” he added.
A 35-year-old member of the public, Tiel Porlock, who alerted pedestrians to the oncoming bus, ushering them out of the way and running to give help, was awarded £250 in recognition of his actions.