A bus journey from London ended in terror for 45 workers at a Newcastle-based telephone company when their coach collided with a lorry.
Thirteen people were taken to hospital - two with serious injuries - following the smash which happened on the A1 in Cambridgeshire yesterday morning.
The privately-hired Redwing coach was returning to Newcastle from London with two drivers and 45 passengers when the collision occurred at 5.30am.
It is believed the work party, thought to be from telephone firm Carphone Warehouse, was in London attending an event at Earls Court after flying down the day before.
An articulated Tesco lorry is understood to have tipped over, blocking the northbound carriageway of the A1 between Brampton and Buckden, for the best part of the day.
Two passengers were taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge with serious, but non life-threatening injuries, and 11 were taken to nearby Hinchingbrooke Hospital with minor injuries.
A further 29 people were assessed at the scene of the crash and were taken to a local ambulance reception centre in St Neots, where a replacement coach picked them up later that day.
The coach driver, from London-based Redwing Coaches, is being hailed a hero for spotting the lorry and preventing an even more serious accident.
Pauline Gaunt, a spokesperson for the coach company, said the crash could have been a lot worse. She said: “When a lorry overturns in front of a coach, it’s amazing there were no fatalities.
“The drivers and passengers involved had a lucky escape.”
A driver, who witnessed the crash but did not want to be named, said: “I saw lots of young people standing on the side of the road, all dressed up as if they had been on a big night out.”
Station commander Callum Faint said: “Owing to the large number of casualties, the ambulance service declared a major incident and triage was established at the scene.”