Safety fears expressed after school bus crash on Antrim Coast Road

The school bus at the spot where it hit the sea wall on the Antrim Coast Road on Thursday morning, after being in collision with a Peugeot car. INLT 42-627-CON

The school bus at the spot where it hit the sea wall on the Antrim Coast Road on Thursday morning, after being in collision with a Peugeot car. INLT 42-627-CON

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Safety concerns have been raised after a school bus was involved in a horrific crash on the Coast Road near Ballygally.

The Larne Times understands that 14 primary school children were on board the bus when the incident happened on a bend close to the former Drumnagreagh Hotel on Thursday, October 9.

The North Eastern Education Library has confirmed that none of the children – who were being taken to class at Cairncastle Primary School – were seriously injured after the bus hit the sea wall.

A board spokesman said that the children were given health checks and sent home with their parents. The bus driver is also said to be uninjured.

Police are appealing for information. Constable Noel Regan said: “Police received a report of a two-vehicle road traffic collision between a car and a school bus, just before 8.40am. No injuries were reported in the RTC, however the road was blocked for a while as a result.

“I would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed the school bus, or a white Mercedes car in the area, or who witnessed the RTC, to contact us at Ballymena police station on the non-emergency number 101.”

Rev Dr Paul Reid, a member of Mid and East Antrim Council, who visited the scene, told the Times: “Going by the amount of debris that was scattered over a length of the Coast Road, it very fortunate indeed that there weren’t any fatalities. The car was so badly damage that the engine was ripped out and was found several hundred feet away from the rest of the wreckage.

“Had it not been for the bus coming to a halt at the sea wall, we would be talking today about something very horrific.”

Cllr Reid has claimed that these school children are being put at risk by travelling further than they have to.

He added: “Children are picked up at Millbrook and Kilwaughter and then being bussed to Glenarm; an additional 14 miles than they should be.”

Cllr Reid has now called for an urgent meeting with the North Eastern Education and Library Board to discuss the matter.