A JURY has heard passengers were “screaming” moments before a coach careered into a main A66 roundabout in darkness close to the end of a day trip.
Darryle Gordon Warren, 52, has gone on trial at Carlisle Crown Court. He denies one charge alleging dangerous driving on October 7 in 2017.
Around 40 passengers – including a pregnant woman – were being transported on a coach back to West Cumbria from Manchester, where they had earlier watched a rugby league Grand Final at Old Trafford.
Trip organiser Scott Graham said he approached Warren amid passenger concern as the vehicle travelled north on the M6, after it was seen “veering” between lanes, and “swerving”.
“I went down and asked him if he was too tired and didn’t feel like he could drive the bus,” Mr Graham told jurors. “He said to me ‘I wish I could go to sleep. Tell them all to bloody calm down’.”
Warren continued, joining the A66 westbound and approaching the Crosthwaite roundabout near Keswick at around 11-20pm. It is alleged by the prosecution he did so “at a speed too high to negotiate it”.
“A lot of people on the bus were screaming, and shouting ‘slow down’,” said Mr Graham.
The coach came to a rest completely on the roundabout “bogged down in grass and mud”. Nobody was seriously hurt but there were some minor injuries.
Jurors have heard Warren, of Scotland Road, Carnforth, admits careless driving. But he denies the allegation that his driving fell “far below” the standard expected of a careful and competent driver.
The trial continues.