Mourning for victims of crash

17th February 2006 at 00:00
Two East Anglian schools were in mourning this week after a coach crash in Germany claimed the lives of a 14-year-old boy, a school secretary and a reserve driver.

Teenagers and staff from Thomas Mills high, in Framlingham, and Norwich School, a private day school. were on their way to separate half-term skiing holidays in Austria when the accident happened.

Psychologists counselled children, teachers and parents at Thomas Mills, the school flag flew at halfmast and flowers were left in memory of 14-year-old Stuart Dines.

Colin Hirst, headteacher, said Stuart was intelligent, popular and keen rugby player. John Hibbert, deputy head, said: "We are in a rural area. It is a close knit community, people are rallying round and we will come through this."

Senior managers meet today to discuss arrangements for the return of students on Monday.

At Norwich school, next to the cathedral, children and parents brought flowers to the school chapel in memory of Jane Irving. Mrs Irving, 58, worked as a secretary at the senior school from 1999.

Head Jim Hawkins said: "We will miss Jane terribly. She was a wonderfully good-humoured and energetic character. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family."

Mr Hawkins set up a crisis management centre after the accident with four teachers and two secretaries returning from holidays to man telephones from Saturday to Monday. Senior staff were on call from Wednesday.

The accident happened after the driver of the Thomas Mills coach stopped on a motorway hard shoulder to change a tyre early on Saturday. A lorry collided with the coach, jack-knifed and was hit by the Norwich school coach.

In safe hands, Jobs, 1

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