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Legal 500 (2013)

A British Tourist received compensation following a coach crash in South Africa where 26 British Tourists were killed

26 British Tourists were killed when the coach they were in veered off a steep mountain pass near Lydenburg in September 1999. The coach which was travelling at over 70 miles per hour plunged over 30 feet down a ravine. The driver of the vehicle admitted culpable homicide after he failed to slow the coach down as it went around a bend. The driver admitted that he had been having problems with the brakes earlier on in the journey.

A man from the West Midlands took a trip of a lifetime to South Africa after receiving a Redundancy payment.

Mr A had always dreamed of visiting South Africa, he had been a keen train spotter his whole life and wanted to travel on the steam train the Pride of Africa between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg.

He travelled to South Africa in September 1999 and was taking an organised trip to Victoria Falls when the coach he was travelling in crashed. Mr A described the moments before the crash when he was concerned that the driver was speeding. As the coach crash he was thrown into the aisle before landing on the roof of the coach covered in diesel as the coach overturned.

He described the crash site as looking like a battlefield as several passengers including 26 British holidaymakers aged between 50 and 82 died following the accident. 10 other passengers were injured.

At one point he was terrified that the coach would catch fire and he would be burnt. He had to have emergency hospital treatment in hospital in South Africa and was also treated in hospital on return from holiday.

He sustained 5 fractured ribs and a collapsed lung and was left with bladder weakness which affected his relationships and lifestyle. Mr A was very distressed by the accident and experienced flashbacks and depression. With the help of Irwin Mitchell he recovered over £20,000 in compensation from his tour Operator, Thomson Holidays Limited.

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"We were very happy with the outcome of our case, especially as we were initially offered nothing from the Tour Operator. Irwin Mitchell were very professional throughout and we are very happy with the outcome."

Chris and Michael, Worksop