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Derek Thompson, Named As Driver Of French Coach Crash That Killed Peter Rippington, 'To Face Manslaughter Charges'

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Schoolteacher Peter Rippington was killed in the crash
Schoolteacher Peter Rippington was killed in the crash

The driver of the coach in which schoolteacher Peter Rippington was killed, and 27 were left injured after it crashed on its way back from a school ski trip in France, was named in reports today as Derek Thompson.

Thompson, who received minor injuries, was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but local police are believed to be investigating whether he might have fallen asleep.

According to The Sun, he is facing charges of manslaughter and “involuntarily causing injuries”. He is set to appear before a judge today as prosecutors ordered an investigation into whether he had compiled with EU safe driving hours regulations.

Of those injured in the crash, seven people now remain in hospital. Six of those are seriously injured, but Chalons-en-Champagne prosecutor Christian de Rocquigny added that their condition was not life threatening.

A 13-year-old girl has been transferred for treatment at the Necker children's hospital in Paris where she had undergone an operation.

The Foreign Office thanked the French authorities for their help following the fatal coach crash, and said that the majority of the 49 British nationals who were on the coach are back in the UK, however seven people remain in hospital in France.

Rippington, 59, was described as a "wonderful" teacher. He died when the bus flipped over and came to rest at the bottom of an embankment near the city of Reims in the Champagne-Ardenne region in the early hours of yesterday.

Rippington's wife Sharon and daughter Amy 24, were also injured in the crash, which involved 29 pupils from Alvechurch Middle School in Worcestershire.

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Filed by Sara C Nelson