Girl dies in A38 Birmingham school trip crash

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A 14-year-old girl has died in a crash involving a minibus full of pupils going on a school art trip.

Emergency services were called to the crash between the minibus and a bin lorry on the A38 in Castle Vale, Birmingham at 09:00 BST on Friday.

Another girl was taken to hospital and 24 people, including the lorry driver, were treated at the scene.

The pupils were all from John Taylor High School in Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire.

The girl died at the crash scene, the ambulance service said.

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West Midlands Police said three teachers and a further 20 pupils were on the minibus.

The teenager who suffered minor injuries was taken to Heartlands Hospital.

Machine worker Stephen Jones, 38, who works nearby, said: “I heard a big bang at 9am this morning – a massive bang.

“I came over and had a look and the police were here with the sirens and they’d shut it all.

“I saw the coroner’s ambulance and I heard a girl had passed away.”

He added: “There are a lot of accidents here all the time, it’s a busy road.”

In a statement, Birmingham City Council confirmed the bin lorry belonged to the authority and said it was “deeply saddened” about what had happened.

“As a city council trade waste vehicle was involved in the incident we will be fully co-operating with all investigations,” it said.

“We ask for drivers’ patience while we work with the police to deal with the highways implications in this very sensitive situation.”

‘Understandably devastated’

No arrests have been made, however, police said that both drivers were assisting with the “detailed and thorough” investigation.

Supt Dean Hatton, head of the Central Motorway Police Group, said: “The family of the teenage girl has been informed and they are being supported by officers from our family liaison unit.”

“We are also in contact with the school, and our colleagues at Staffordshire Police, who are understandably devastated as this occurred while their students were on a school trip.”

Asked by reporters if the pupils were wearing seatbelts, he replied: “That will be part of our investigation and, at the moment, I can’t confirm either way whether or not pupils were wearing seatbelts or otherwise.”

He said he would not speculate on the cause of the collision.

At the scene on Friday afternoon a detailed forensic examination was under way.

From the roadside, damage to the bin lorry’s front end was visible and the rear right-hand portion of the minibus had been covered over with a green tarpaulin.

Officers were also carrying out skid tests and taking distance markings on the dual carriageway.

In a statement published earlier on its website, the school added: “A number of our Year 9 and Year 12 students that are on an art trip have been involved in a serious road traffic accident this morning.

“We are working to support those directly affected.”

The school is a specialist science and leadership academy and has 1,500 pupils.

It is located in Barton-under-Needwood, close to Burton-upon-Trent and Lichfield.

The calendar on the school’s website suggests a trip had been planned for Friday to Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

It also shows the school’s Year 11 prom was due to be held on Friday night.

Councillor John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council said he was “shocked and saddened by the tragic incident”.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant tweeted he was “heartbroken” to hear about the girl’s death.

West Midlands Police’s Force Contact team earlier tweeted that the air ambulance had been sent to the crash scene and the road was expected to be closed for a “considerable time”.

It said: “Multiple resources are continuing to deal with a serious RTC on the A38 near to Forge Lane. This will be closed for some considerable time.”

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