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Coach crash fatalities: a Colombian, 29, and 17-year-old French woman
The two people who died in the bus accident on the E19 motorway north of Antwerp on Sunday were a 29-year-old Colombian and a 17-year-old French woman, says the Antwerp prosecutor's office.
Thirteen victims of the accident remain in hospital, reports RTBF. Five of them are critically injured, five others seriously injured and three others sustained only light injuries.
The bus driver, a 35-year-old Frenchman, is among the lightly injured. He was arrested after the accident following a positive saliva test for drugs. The prosecution will request his placement under arrest warrant on Tuesday.
The driver was known to the police in France for other drug-related offences, revealed the prosecutor’s office. It also indicated that the analysis of the coach’s tachograph showed that the driving and rest times had been respected.
Although the charges are currently listed as manslaughter, drug-driving and lack of control of his vehicle, additional blood and saliva tests are required to confirm that the man was driving under the influence.
The French tourist coach belonging to the BlaBlaCar company deviated from its path and hit a concrete guardrail on the E19 near Schoten while travelling from Paris to Amsterdam. The coach overturned and ended up on the other side of the road.
Witnesses and images from the cameras of the Flemish traffic centre (Vlaams Verkeerscentrum) show that no other vehicle was involved.
The E19 was closed all afternoon after the accident.
Photo: The bus being towed away following Sunday’s accident at Schoten © Belga/Jonas Roosens