Helper averted coach disaster

18th June 1999 at 01:00
A SCHOOL helper saved the lives of pupils and staff when she took the wheel of a coach after the driver collapsed in his seat as the vehicle hurtled along the M62.

Tricia De Marzo, 48, sat behind the driver on the outing from Sacred Heart infants school near Halifax to a Lancashire theme park. Staff distracted the 30 six-year-olds while she steered the 52-seater to safety and stopped on the hard shoulder.

Mrs De Marzo said: "The children were blissfully unaware of the potential danger. They thought the driver just had a headache and that was why I took the wheel."

Luckily, the driver regained consciousness in time to tell Mrs De Marzo, who usually drives an automatic, how to use the gears.

"It wasn't until I stopped the coach I realised what had happened and thought 'what if?' I think we were kissed by angels."

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