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Bus driver, Derek Trow, saves little children in weird fashion

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A bus driver has described the moment he reversed off a collapsing bridge saving 11 children from plunging in to the river below.

Derek Trow was driving across Eastham Bridge in Worcestershire when it began to collapse ahead of him.

Luckily, the quick-thinking 62-year-old managed to put his vehicle in reverse and warn off an approaching bus before it completely gave way.

Speaking to the BBC, he said he had just driven on to the bridge when some of it began to fall.

‘I stopped and gestured to the bus behind me to move so I could reverse back to get my wheels off the bridge,’ he said.

‘I’ve been driving buses for about 17 years and that’s where your training kicks in. You just do it.’

Derek had been driving pupils home from Lindridge St Lawrence CE Primary School in Tenbury Wells.

The Eastham Bridge in Tenbury Wells, Worcs, which has been reduced to rubble after it crumbled into the river Teme on tuesday afternoon, May 24, 2016. These incredible aerial images show how a quaint market town has become cut off after an entire bridge collapsed into a river. See NTI story NTIBRIDGE. The Grade II listed Eastham Bridge was reduced to rubble after it dramatically crumbled into the River Teme in Tenbury Wells, Worcs., on Tuesday (24/5). Two motorists were forced to slam on their breaks to avoid plunging into the water as they went to cross at around 3.30pm. One school mini-bus driver said he had to reverse with a vehicle full of children as the historic bridge collapsed in front of his vehicle. Emergency services attended the scene but there were no reports of any injuries at what is a busy commuter route through the picturesque town. Shocking pictures taken yesterday (Wed) show the scale of the devastation after tonnes of bricks caved and fell around 20ft (6m) into the river.
Luckily he was able to reverse off the collapsing bridge in time
The Eastham Bridge in Tenbury Wells, Worcs, which has been reduced to rubble after it crumbled into the river Teme on tuesday afternoon, May 24, 2016. These incredible aerial images show how a quaint market town has become cut off after an entire bridge collapsed into a river. See NTI story NTIBRIDGE. The Grade II listed Eastham Bridge was reduced to rubble after it dramatically crumbled into the River Teme in Tenbury Wells, Worcs., on Tuesday (24/5). Two motorists were forced to slam on their breaks to avoid plunging into the water as they went to cross at around 3.30pm. One school mini-bus driver said he had to reverse with a vehicle full of children as the historic bridge collapsed in front of his vehicle. Emergency services attended the scene but there were no reports of any injuries at what is a busy commuter route through the picturesque town. Shocking pictures taken yesterday (Wed) show the scale of the devastation after tonnes of bricks caved and fell around 20ft (6m) into the river.
An investigation is ongoing in to what happened

One of them, Freddie, 10, was sat on the bus when the incident happened.

‘We saw a big splash in the river but I don’t think the bus driver saw it so we carried on going [to] about a quarter of the way up the bridge. Then we saw the other side going,’ he said.

‘The bus driver started reversing and then the whole thing went.’

The Eastham Bridge in Tenbury Wells, Worcs, which has been reduced to rubble after it crumbled into the river Teme on tuesday afternoon, May 24, 2016. These incredible aerial images show how a quaint market town has become cut off after an entire bridge collapsed into a river. See NTI story NTIBRIDGE. The Grade II listed Eastham Bridge was reduced to rubble after it dramatically crumbled into the River Teme in Tenbury Wells, Worcs., on Tuesday (24/5). Two motorists were forced to slam on their breaks to avoid plunging into the water as they went to cross at around 3.30pm. One school mini-bus driver said he had to reverse with a vehicle full of children as the historic bridge collapsed in front of his vehicle. Emergency services attended the scene but there were no reports of any injuries at what is a busy commuter route through the picturesque town. Shocking pictures taken yesterday (Wed) show the scale of the devastation after tonnes of bricks caved and fell around 20ft (6m) into the river.
The bus driver was forced to reverse when he saw the bridge had collapsed
Derek Trow, at home in Bewdley, Worcestershire. See NTI story NTIBRIDGE. A bus driver has described how he saved 11 children from plunging into a river by reversing off a collapsing bridge. Derek Trow was taking pupils home from Lindridge St Lawrence CE Primary School in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire. As he crossed Eastham Bridge he saw the road give way ahead of him and managed to back up moments before it crumbled.
Derek Trow, at home in Bewdley

The Grade II listed bridge was built in 1793 but last inspected in December.

Worcestershire Country Council said an investigation has been launched to find out what happened.




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About the author

Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field