Bus ‘driven at excessive speed’ before fatal Munlochy crash


Mohamed ChacheImage copyright
Police Scotland/Peter Jolly

Image caption

Mohamed Chache’s bus overturned after crashing through a bridge parapet

A bus was being driven at “speed” as it approached a bend in a Highlands road before it crashed, killing its driver.

Mohamed Chache died and his nine passengers were injured in the crash at a small bridge on the B9161 near Munlochy on 11 January.

A fatal accident inquiry heard that the bus had been travelling at 52mph and the speed limit at the bridge was 40mph.

A sheriff has determined the cause of the crash was excessive speed.

Mr Chache, known by the nickname Smiler, lived in Inverness but was originally from Zanzibar.

In her determination, Sheriff Margaret Neilson said the inquiry heard that the 50-year-old had been a “long-standing and valued” employee and colleague with an “excellent safety record”.

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The crash happened at about 17:40 at Littlemill Bridge. The bus failed to take the corner and crashed through a bridge parapet and rolled before coming to a stop on its side in a field.

One passenger told the inquiry of telling her grandson to “hold on” as the bus approached the bridge. She said the lights went out and it felt like she was on “a merry-go-round and floating in the air”.

The inquiry heard bus drivers would usually negotiate the bend at the bridge at speeds of 20-30mph.

Sheriff Neilson said she wished to formally express the court service’s condolences to Mr Chache’s family.

She said: “Mr Chache was clearly a much valued and respected employee who was well liked by both his employers and passengers.”



BBC News

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