Inquest told Eritrean stowaway clung to coach for 160 miles but was killed when it reversed into him once back at Norfolk depot

Coroner's Court.

Coroner's Court. - Credit: Archant

An Eritrean teenager who hid underneath a coach as it made the 160 mile journey from Dover back to East Anglia, died when the vehicle reversed into him in the depot, an inquest heard.

Ahmed Osman, 17, secured himself by a belt to the back axle of the Volvo coach as the coach came from a three day trip to France. It dropped its passengers – students from Sudbury- off before returning to the depot at Bexwell near Downham Market.

Ahmed is thought to have got under the bus at Calais and stayed there until it reached its Norfolk destination.

The inquest was told the driver could not have known a stowaway was hiding beneath his vehicle before reversing over him and killing him.

Coroner Jacqueline Lake heard his body was found in the early hours of July 24, at the bus company’s yard in Bexwell, near Downham Market.


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Driver Robert Evans said in a statement that when he returned to the yard he spent around an hour-and-a-half cleaning the vehicle, which was due to be used the next day.

“I started to turn the coach around,” he said. “I checked my mirrors and rear-view camera. Whilst reversing there was a slight resistance. It was only something that lasted a moment. I remember looking at the gauges and they seemed OK.”

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But after checking outside the coach, Mr Evans found Mr Osman’s body.

Forensic collision investigator PC Forbes Scott told the Kings Lynn inquest: “The casualty stowed away underneath it and climbed in a small void, between the floor and the chassis.

“I could not physically get into that space; it’s about the width of my shoulders.

“He was of slight build, but it would have been difficult to get in and hard to get back out.”

Mr Osman was not detected by the border controls, so there was no way Mr Evans should have or could have known about him, said PC Scott.

Concluding Mr Osman’s death was accidental, the coroner said: “This is a tragic death of a young man.

“I would make it clear there is nothing that Mr Evans could have or should have known that Mr Osman was stowed away.”

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