A SCHOOL-BUS with 30 children on board was used as a barricade in an attempt to stop a car alleged to have been stolen from Sunderland star Stephane Sessegnon.
Pupils as young as four from two schools in Cumbria were on the bus during the drama last Friday during the town’s horse fair.
The youngsters all escaped injury, as did the driver of the Grand Prix Coaches service.
The £40,000 BMW X6 involved in the crash is alleged to have been stolen during a raid on the home of the Sunderland FC striker several weeks ago. Burglars struck at Sessegnon’s Ponteland home where the car, along with a television, some jewellery and a Range Rover were taken.
Police in Cumbria had asked the bus driver to position his vehicle in the path of the BMW.
A parent of one of the children has now met with Cumbria police and crime commissioner Richard Rhodes to ask for a formal investigation.
One man, who witnessed the incident, described the force of the collision as “like a bomb going off”.
Inspector Dave Willetts, of Cumbria police, was the officer in charge during the incident, which he said “all happened over a number of seconds” and was a “very dynamic situation”.
“The bus driver was asked to reposition the bus to protect the public, which worked,” he said.
More than 30 of the students had been collected from Appleby Grammar School and a number from the nearby primary school. In a joint statement, the respective headteachers, Andrew Lund and Rachel Pearson, said: “Appleby Grammar School and Appleby Primary School staff gave immediate assistance to the students. Thankfully no students were hurt and staff accompanied the students back to school.
“Some students were then collected by their parents from school and a replacement bus was organised to take the remaining students home. Staff from Appleby Grammar School and Appleby Primary School travelled on this bus to ensure all students arrived home safely.”
•Following the smash, 31-year-old Steven Quinn was arrested by police and charged with four offences. Quinn, of Greta Road, Carlisle, appeared at North Cumbria Magistrates’ Court in Carlisle on Saturday. He is charged with dangerous driving; driving with no insurance; driving otherwise in accordance with a licence; and handling stolen goods, namely Sessegnon’s BMW X6. Quinn was remanded in custody and his case was committed to Carlisle Crown Court, where he is due to appear on July 8.
•A 25-year-old man arrested on suspicion of burglary in relation to the break in at Sessegnon’s home remains on police bail.