Swiss refuse reconstruction of Sierre coach accident

Summary

The Swiss prosecutor in charge of the investigation into the causes of last year’s coach accident that killed 28 people from Flemish schools will not carry out an on-site reconstruction

Authorities are examining driver’s GSM and laptop

The Swiss prosecutor investigating the school bus crash in Sierre in March of 2012 has refused to carry out an additional reconstruction of the accident. The crash of the bus, which was transporting staff and children from schools in Leuven and Lommel on a ski trip, killed 28 people, 22 of them children aged 11 and 12.

In May this year, Swiss investigators issued a report clearing the driver of any fault but was not able to provide a definitive explanation of what happened. The bus was heading homeward when it entered the tunnel, side-swiped a wall and ran head-on into a niche.

A group of eight families had requested further investigation from prosecutor Olivier Elsig on the basis of a number of possible scenarios, which included the use of anti-depressants by Geert Michiels, who was at the wheel at the time of the crash. A possible cardiac arrest was another theory.

The Swiss authorities have already carried out a virtual reconstruction using a 3D computer animation, but parents were calling for a reconstruction at the scene itself, using an actual coach – something Elsig described as “impossible in practical terms to carry out”. Elsig also declined to provide a full report on the actions of the emergency services attending the scene.

Elsig did agree to an examination of the driver’s mobile phone and laptop. He said that the other leads had already been investigated, or were simply “irrelevant in determining the origin of the accident”. 

Swiss prosecutor refuses to carry out additional reconstruction of last year's Sierre coach accident.

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