Angry mum seeking legal advice over bus accident
A MOTHER whose autistic daughter has suffered increasing seizures since she was involved in a bus accident is seeking legal advice.
Megan Smith, 15, was one of several children injured when a double-decker bus hit the overhanging branches of a tree in Sunny Grove, Chaddesden, last Tuesday.
Her mother, Catherine, said she was angry no-one appeared to be taking responsibility for what happened.
Megan was showered with broken glass and received cuts to her ears and nose after the front windows on the upper deck smashed as she was on a trip to Asda from St Andrew's Special School, Breadsall Hilltop.
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Mrs Smith said Megan was "in a very stressed state" immediately after the accident.
She said: "Megan has subsequently been off school, upset, anxious and frightened, culminating in her suffering several epileptic seizures, which were significantly and noticeably worse than her normal pattern."
Mrs Smith, of Darley Avenue, said she had rung Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Megan receives treatment, to get advice because of the frequency of the seizures.
After the incident, an investigation revealed nothing mechanically wrong with the Notts Derby bus and the company said the driver was not to blame.
Notts Derby manager Stuart Frost said the trees in the grass verges in Sunny Grove needed cutting back, as did trees in Morley Road, Chaddesden.
Derby City Council's strategic director for neighbourhoods, Paul Robinson, admitted that the trees in Sunny Grove had not been pruned since autumn 2011.
But he said the council had received no requests from bus operators to prune the trees, adding that he understood the road was not used for regular bus services by the "major operators".
The free bus to Asda runs along the route each Tuesday.
Mrs Smith said: "We are angered but not surprised by the comments of Mr Robinson and we will be writing to the council and also seeking legal advice about the situation.
"These children have special needs and suffer enough, without the sheer anxious terror and panic that has been caused by a lack of diligence and management to provide proactive maintenance of the trees.
"It is absolute nonsense to say this is not on a regular bus route. It is on a route that the council has approved for use by a bus."
Mr Robinson said that the council had been in touch with the bus company.
He said: "We are obviously keen to work with them to ensure that there is no repeat of last week's accident. So we are checking the trees along Sunny Grove and cutting them back where needed."
And Mr Frost said that a single-decker would be on the route until the bus company was satisfied there was no longer any danger.
Phil Harrison, head teacher of St Andrew's, said the pupils had been "very shaken" by the incident.
He said: "I am proud of how our staff supported the students and enabled to get them back to school safely.
"We will support our students and staff through this challenging time."