25th Apr, 2019

Bus driver, 77, said to be 'devastated' following Coventry supermarket crash

Coventry Editorial 8th Oct, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

The driver of the Stagecoach bus is said to be ‘devastated’ following the tragedy.

Kailash Chander was behind the wheel of the X18 service from Coventry to Leamington when it crashed into the Sainsbury’s store in the city centre.

The grandfather, who is said to be recovering at home from neck and shoulder injuries sustained in the accident, has not been arrested but is assisting police with their inquiries.

In a statement released this week, his family said: “We want to express our deepest and most sincere condolences to those involved – particularly the families who have lost their loved ones.

“Being a grandfather himself, he is devastated to the core by what has happened. We feel deeply for everyone affected – this is just beyond anyone’s imagination.”

With Mr Chander being 77-years-old, questions have, however, been asked whether a man of his age should have been driving a bus.

Many have argued that a driver at his age may not be as alert as a younger driver, or could be suffering from deteriorated eyesight.

But Stagecoach Midlands insisted he had completed a mandatory annual medical which all employees over the age of 65 must undertake.

The company, where Mr Chander has worked for 42 years, also said that there is no upper age limit for eligible drivers – in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 which makes it unlawful to discriminate based on age.

A spokesman added: “No driver we employ is allowed behind the wheel of our buses without us being satisfied they are fully qualified, safe and meet all necessary legal requirements.

“We cannot imagine the pain and loss felt by the families of Rowan Fitzgerald and Dora Hancox.

“Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with them and all those affected by this accident, particularly the young girl who remains in hospital.”

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