Hartlepool teenager back home after church camping trip crash

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A Hartlepool teenager has returned home to recover after being involved in a coach crash while away camping.

The 14-year-old was one of three town youngsters taken to hospital following a collision on Monday between a coach carrying young people from Oxford Road Baptist Church and a 4x4 vehicle on the Ripon bypass in North Yorkshire.

Two girls aged 15 and 16 who were also on the coach and received attention have decided to stay with the camping party.

John Lauderdale, a deacon at the church, who has been in touch with party leaders, said: “Most of the children were seen at the site and it was determined three needed to go to hospital to be checked over.

“Two girls of the three were able to go back to the camp and have decided to stay.

“One 14-year-old boy who had a leg injury has been brought home to rest.”

Mr Lauderdale, who is also a Hartlepool borough councillor for the Burn Valley Ward, visited the families of all three children following the incident.

Oxford Road Baptist Church has taken 18 youngsters aged between 12 and 18 on the annual camping trip It is one of a network of churches from the North Yorkshire area that meet up at the camp every year.

Not all of the Hartlepool party was on the coach at the time of the collision, said Mr Lauderdale.

The mum of one child who is away with the group said she was unaware of the crash until reading about it on the Mail’s website.

But Mr Lauderdale said leaders had made every effort to contact parents.

He said: “The procedure was some of the leaders systematically phoned the homes of everybody.

“As far as I know that has been done. How long that took I don’t know.

“It may be that some parents were not home. If they didn’t get a reply that would have to try again later.

“By the tea time I visited the homes of all three (on the coach) and they were content with the arrangements.”

The coach driver was also taken to hospital to be checked over but was not seriously hurt.

The collision took place near the Littlethorpe turning on the A61 road at around 5.30pm on Monday.

The road was closed in both directions for around three hours.

Mr Lauderdale said despite the crash, the party was carrying on with the fun.

He said: “The ones on the coach were in a state of shock afterwards.

“But given the fact that everybody has decided at camp, other than the one who needed to come home, would suggest everybody is now making the best of it.”

The group, which includes four leaders, left last Saturday and are due home tomorrow.