Par­ents in bus safety pe­ti­ton call

Wans­ford boy had to have his right leg am­pu­tated af­ter fall­ing from a mov­ing coach

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By Kerry Coupe kerry.coupe@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @Peter­bor­ough­tel

The par­ents of Wans­ford boy Seb Goold (11), whowas badly in­jured when he fell from a bus, have launched a pe­ti­tion call­ing for a safety de­bate in Par­lia­ment.

The par­ents of a boy who was hor­rif­i­cally in­jured when he fell from a mov­ing coach are call­ing on peo­ple to sign their pe­ti­tion for im­proved safety mea­sures.

It is more than two years since Seb Goold, now11, fell fromthe coach on the way back from a rugby tour­na­ment but it is only now his par­ents Nick and Tracey, of Wans­ford, have felt able to speak about the ac­ci­dent which changed their lit­tle boy’s life for­ever.

Seb lost his right leg above the knee and suf­fered a se­vere brain in­jury af­ter fall­ing from the 20-year-old coach when a side exit door swung open.

Nor­folk Po­lice, who in­ves­ti­gated the in­ci­dent found eight faults with the coach - and prob­lems with the door fromwhichSebfell- in­clud­ing that the warn­ing light alert­ing the driver that the door was open was in­op­er­a­ble.

But Nick, 49, and Tracey, 50, were as­ton­ished when po­lice told them there would be no prose­cu­tion.

Af­ter find­ing out the driver and the owner of Hamil­tons Coaches had not been in­ter­viewed, the cou­ple com­plained to the force’s Pro­fes­sional Stan­dards Depart­ment which has since apol­o­gised to the fam­ily af­ter find­ing “as­pects” of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion fell be­low stan­dard.

The cou­ple have now launched an e-pe­ti­tion to get safety reg­u­la­tions de­bated in Par­lia­ment- and-to-see-the-end of per­son­alised li­cence plates which can dis­guise the age of ve­hi­cles. They are an­gry that bus op­er­a­tors are not re­quired to bring old coaches up to the safety stan­dards re­quired in new coaches.

Nick said: “We were very an­gry with the out­come and we feel let down by Nor­folk Con­stab­u­lary. That coach just shouldn’t have been on the road.”

Nick, a finance di­rec­tor at Com­pare the Mar­ket, was trav­el­ling in the coach, as was Seb’s twin brother Ben. They had en­joyed a week­end at the rugby tour­na­ment in Holt, Nor­folk and were on their way home.

Seb was wait­ing to use the toi­let when the door flew open. He was sucked out back­ward sand went un­der the back wheel, crush­ing his right leg and punc­tur­ing an artery.

Nick rushed out of the bus to find a sur­geon and a nurse trav­el­ling in cars be­hind had stopped to help.

Seb was rushed to The Queen El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal in King’s Lynn, where doc­tors told the Goolds they couldn’t save Seb’s leg. He was trans­ferred to Ad­den­brooke’s Hos­pi­tal in Cam­bridge, suf­fer­ing a car­diac ar­rest en-route, and had his leg am­pu­tated the same evening. He suf­fered a sec­ond car­diac ar­rest and spent three weeks in a coma.

When he woke up three weeks later, Seb could barely see, talk or lift his head, and had prob­lems mov­ing his limbs. He had to re­learn how to do­ev­ery­thing and although he has come a long way since, he is still hav­ing daily ther­apy and phys­io­ther­apy.

Tracey said: “It’s the se­ri­ous­ness of this ac­ci­dent that makes it so fun­da­men­tally im­por­tant. We would hate for an­other fam­ily to go through what we have, but the fact is this was an ac­ci­dent that was wait­ing to hap­pen and we are just lucky our son is alive.”

A spokesman for Nor­folk Po­lice said: “It is ac­knowl­edged the in­ves­ti­ga­tion fell be­low the ex­pected stan­dards and fol­low­ing a thor­ough re­view, a num­ber of rec­om­men­da­tions have been im­ple­mented.”

In­sur­ers for Ket­ter­ing firm Hamil­tons Coaches have set­tled a civil liability claim with the Goolds.

Owner of Hamil­tons Coaches Mr Uka said: “I’m nat­u­rally dis­tressed by the in­juries suf­fered by Seb. The mat­ter is in the hands of so­lic­i­tors and I’m tak­ing le­gal ad­vice.”

They need 100,000 sig­na­tures for the pe­ti­tion to be con­sid­ered for de­bate. It had more than 600 as the Tele­graph went to press. Visit https://pe­ti­tion.par­lia­ment.uk.pe­ti­tions/163522 to sign.

Tracey and Nick Goold with sons Seb and Ben

Broth­ers Ben and Seb

Seb in hos­pi­tal af­ter the ac­ci­dent

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