Driver not arrested, but is helping police
(WATCH: BBC video report above. Read Radio Exe's report below)
Scores of passengers have been injured in a road crash in South Devon in which a double-decker bus overturned. Eight people suffered potentially serious injuries and were rushed to hospitals across the south west. Walking wounded were treated in Paignton by paramedics.
All emergency service attended the incident at around 11am on Saturday, when a Stagecoach South West gold service crashed on the A385 Totnes Road near Lombcombe Cross, between Totnes and Paignton.
South West Ambulance service quickly declared a major incident. The two Devon Air Amblulances flew to the scene; and three helicopters were at the crash scene at one point. The most seriously injured were taken to Derriford, Exeter, Bristol, Torbay or Newton Abbot hospitals, with those being treated at the latter discharged on Saturday afternoon.
The bus driver hasn't been arrested, but he is helping police with the investigation. A Devon and Cornwall police spokesperson says: “A number of uninjured passengers have been taken to Paignton bus station and Paignton library to provide them with support and assistance for their onward journeys; paramedics were also present at these locations to ensure all were well.
As at 5.30pm on Saturday, the bus, which came to rest in a field, had yet to be righted and recovered; a process the police expected to be "challenging".
Torbay Hospital appealed to people not to come to their emergency department "unless it's a real emergency". They asked instead that people go to minor injury units at local hospitals or call 111 for medical advice. However, in an emergency, 999 remains the number to call.
A number of roads in the area stayed closed to traffic into the evening. The police traffic website is updated as the situation develops. (https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/news/traffic-watch/.
Devon and Cornwall Police say: “Today has seen emergency services and health partners come together to response to this serious collision. This major multi-agency effort to support those involved and has understandably added to existing pressure on the health services. Therefore we are not only appealing to the public to both avoid the area, but also ask that people also avoid attending accident and emergency units unless it is an actual emergency, to help alleviate some of the pressure.”
A family fun day at the Exeter depot on Sunday has been postponed. A spokesperson for Stagecoach South West says: "Our immediate thoughts are for those involved and we are helping the emergency services in any way that we can. Safety is our absolute priority and we will be assisting the investigation into the circumstances involved in the incident."