Shocking moment London bus driver crashes into depot after taking crack cocaine
A bus driver who crashed into a depot after taking crack cocaine has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Anderson Worrell, 62, pressed the accelerator instead of the brake and crashed into the back of a car carrying a one-year-old baby, then swerved off-road into West Croydon station.
A 15-year-old schoolgirl on the top deck suffered a broken arm, punctured lungs, and a ruptured liver when the glass and wrought-iron canopy smashed through the front window, Croydon crown court heard.
Four children were among the 12 passengers injured in the crash on November 11 last year, including a seven-year-old boy who passed out after being hit in the head with shattered glass, while a woman who was six months pregnant was also hurt.
The driver had smoked the crack cocaine the night before his shift and was seen struggling to stay awake at the wheel moments before he lost control.
Worrell admitted responsibility for the crash and was jailed for 30 months yesterday by Judge Elizabeth Smaller, who told him: “Although you were not experiencing a high from the crack cocaine which you had taken at the time of driving, it would have deprived you of sleep the night before and the after-effects the next day would include tiredness.
“You were taking crack cocaine to deal with depression and illness, but that was a deliberate decision on your part, knowing that the next day members of the public essentially placed themselves in your care.”
The court heard Worrell, a grandfather, had an unblemished record as a bus driver for 30 years but admitted after the crash he had been smoking crack cocaine to cope with depression and a cancer diagnosis.
One of the victims in the crash, Albert Kittoe, 36, told the court he has been left suffering from panic attacks and flashbacks, and is now afraid to take the bus.
When questioned after the crash, Worrell said the bus had “surged forward” when he lost control, and prosecutor Andrew Ramsubhag told the court experts had “concluded the immediate cause of the accident was foot misplacement on the accelerator”.
When tested at the crash site, Worrell had cocaine in his system and was arrested.
The driver, from Thornton Heath, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, as well as two charges of drug driving.
He has been banned from driving for three years and must retake his test before getting behind the wheel again.
Jonathan Storer, from the CPS, said: “This collision would have been terrifying for all those on the 198 bus and could have resulted in injuries that were far more serious or even fatal.”