He has been jailed for three years. Walker was also banned from driving for four and a half years causing the collision after a school bus collided with a railway bridge on Wellhouse Lane, just after 8am on 10 September 2020.
Families of the students on board the bus were in court to hear the facts of the case and witness the sentence passed by Her Honour Judge Angela Morris.
Prosecution for the case Mr Nicholas Cotter read out the victim impact statements from the three students who were the most injured in the collision out of all of the students.
Mitigating for the defendant, Barrister Mr Neil Fitzgibbon said that Walker had been given three new routes after changing to daytime rota so he would be able to spend a lot more time with his wife who is disabled.
Mr Fitsgibbon said that on the day before the crash happened Mr Walker had been taken on a familiarisation route for the route he should have taken, but for some reason, all of it had not been covered and he was also only a passenger during the stated training.
Mr Fitzgibbon said that Walker had missed the turn he should have made and didn’t realise he was actually on the wrong route.
Bernadette Kearney, CPS, said: “Witness statements and CCTV proved that Martin Walker took the decision to disregard road signs warning of height restrictions and instead made an entirely dangerous manoeuvre.
“He demonstrated a clear disregard for the safety of his passengers.”
The bus was taking students to Henry Beaufort School. Fifty-seven (57) of those on board were fortunately uninjured, however, three pupils from the school had sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries, and following initial treatment at the scene were then taken to hospital.
We have been told the injuries consisted of deep cut wounds to three victims faces.
One victim was an aspiring model who now no longer feels she can continue due to nerve damage and scars sustained, another victim abandoned efforts to be a footballer due to his injuries and the third victim still is suffering the anxiety effects from the crash and pupils screaming.
A further 12 pupils had sustained minor injuries, and 10 of those patients were able to be treated at the scene by ambulance workers.
The remaining two patients with minor injuries required further assessment and treatment at hospital.
The top deck of the bus had been severely damaged and ripped off.
TWO Air Ambulance’s were deployed from Hampshire and IOW Air Ambulance and Dorset Air Ambulance both were sent to the incident.
Recovery vehicles were brought in to remove the bus from under the bridge.
South Central Ambulance Service at the time said;
“South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) began to receive multiple 999 calls around 08:10am this morning all reporting a double decker school bus having collided with the railway bridge on Wellhouse Lane, Winchester, resulting in the roof being ripped off the top of the bus.
SCAS personnel in our clinical co-ordination centre worked incredibly quickly and professionally to send a significant number of emergency resources to the incident; this comprised of eight ambulances, three specialist practitioner paramedics, the SCAS Hazardous Area Response Team, an incident commander, tactical adviser and a number of other ambulance officers, as well as helicopter emergency medical teams from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and Dorset Air Ambulance.
The bus was taking students to Henry Beaufort School. Fifty-seven (57) of those on board were fortunately uninjured, however three pupils from the school had sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries, and following initial treatment at the scene were then taken to hospital. A further 12 pupils had sustained minor injuries, and 10 of those patients were able to be treated at the scene by our staff. The remaining two patients with minor injuries required further assessment and treatment at hospital. The students requiring additional hospital treatment were taken to University Hospital Southampton (four patients) and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital (one patient).
Paul Haly, Resilience and Specialist Operations Manager at SCAS, said:
“Attending crews were initially faced with a challenging incident, managing a large number of distressed children. Working closely with our colleagues from Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service and Hampshire Police, the scene was quickly controlled and a high standard of patient care was able to be brought to the injured pupils.
“Thankfully, we were able to treat and discharge ten of the injured into the care of their parents, whilst only a further five children required further hospital treatment. As well as working collaboratively with our blue light partners, the senior leadership team from the school attended the scene, to provide additional support and welfare to the children and parents.”
Hampshire Police have said;
“We are dealing with a serious collision on Well House Lane, Winchester, after a school bus collided with a railway bridge.
There are three serious but not life-threatening injuries, 13 other onboard were treated at the scene by South Central Ambulance Service.
A road closure is in place on Well House Lane from Andover Road North to School Lane. Thank you for your patience.”