Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

School worker flipped minibus with pupils on board

15:58 07 March 2014

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

Archant

Former colleague suffered whiplash and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after the collision.

A FORMER worker at Broomhayes School flipped a mini bus causing a co-worker to suffer a cracked rib and anxiety attacks, a court heard.

Matthew Gent, 32, of Lime Grove, Bideford, was driving two students at the school for people with autism and three members of staff to Northam Burrows on a trip.

Gent pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention after he ended up flipping the van over.

Witness statements read to the court from staff members said Gent had initially driven fast over the speed bumps at the burrows which ‘made the students laugh’.

One of the co-workers, who attended the hearing on Friday, said after leaving the Burrows Gent was driving in an ‘inappropriate way’.

She said the mini bus was driving too fast when it hit a dip in Gammaton Road which caused Gent to lose control and mount the left bank of the road.

The bus flipped over, with one member of staff suffering whiplash and a possible cracked rib, and another suffering minor cuts and bruises.

One of Gent’s colleagues said she had suffered anxiety and panic attacks since the event which had caused her to be diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

Gent, who was unrepresented in court, said the vehicle had been unsuitable as it did not have a screen to protect the driver if the pupils got stressed or angry.

He told magistrates he ‘did not have a choice’ in driving it and that his employer, who has since made him redundant, would have ‘expected him to’.

Magistrates fined Gent £275 and he was disqualified from driving for six months. He was also ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £28 victim surcharge.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 17:05

North Devon gets three out of the seven South West Coastal Community initiatives announced today (Friday)

Read more
Yesterday, 15:11

Developers have withdrawn controversial plans for 199 new homes in Northam after hundreds of objections were raised.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:32

The Plough Arts Centre in Torrington has launched a crowdfunding campaign for new lights, a lift and a disabled toilet.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:13

A giant banner was draped over the River Taw at midday today (Friday) as part of a nationwide protest

Read more
Yesterday, 12:15

Revised plans for the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon extension will blend in better

Read more
Yesterday, 11:07

No injuries following the A39 crash near Parracombe on Thursday afternoon, police have said

Read more
Yesterday, 10:35

Today (Friday) at midday protesters will be draping a large banner from Barnstaple’s new bridge for the Bridges Not Walls campaign

Read more
Yesterday, 10:01

The Rotary StarTrek challenge marks its 25th anniversary in March – would you like to be part of it?

Read more
Thu, 17:24

What do you do if you find a stranded seal? As two are released at Combe Martin after staying at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, the RSPCA offers advice to anyone who finds a stranded seal

Read more
Thu, 17:02

Peter Heaton-Jones was debating fair funding for Devon alongside the county’s MPs in Westminster Hall yesterday (Wednesday)

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 2°C

min temp: 1°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications