Rock band coach driver to be charged after Bath crash drama
The driver of an American rock band tour bus which crashed on the outskirts of Bath last summer is to be charged in connection with the incident.
Norman Markus, from Germany, who was seriously injured when his vehicle plunged 30ft off the side of the A36 at the bottom of Brassknocker Hill, is accused of a number of offences.
These include dangerous driving, using a vehicle with defective brakes, contravening a 7.5 tonne weight limit and not complying with EU regulations on how much rest he should have had.
A total of nine people were hurt in the crash, which happened at Monkton Combe in August, and eyewitnesses described the incident as “horrific”.
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Markus had been driving the heavy metal band Baroness from a concert at The Fleece, in Bristol, on to their next tour venue in Southampton.
Lead singer John Baizley suffered a broken arm and leg, while drummer Allen Blickle and bassist Matt Maggioni were left with fractured vertebrae.
Guitarist Pete Adams escaped with more minor injuries.
All members went on to make a full recovery and the band announced before Christmas that they were ready to start performing again.
Markus himself was one of the most seriously injured and had to stay in Frenchay Hospital, in Bristol, for a number of weeks following the crash, and needed surgery on his pelvis.
Senior prosecutor Andrew Walters, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said it had been a complex investigation and his team had been working with Avon and Somerset Police’s collision investigation unit throughout.
He said the full list of charges also included using a vehicle in a condition likely to cause danger of injury and driving otherwise than in accordance with driving licence, specifically that he allegedly had no category D entitlement, which covers buses and coaches.
A summons has been sent to Markus at his home in Germany and an initial hearing is scheduled to take place at Bath Magistrates Court in April.