Leamington bus driver in court over charges of killing two people in crash, including Leamington boy

Former Mayor of Leamington Spa Cllr- Kailash Chander, 79, leaving Coventry Magistrates court where he has been charged with causing the deaths of two people after a double-decker bus he was driving crashed into a Sainsbury's supermarket in Coventry city centre almost two years ago.
Former Mayor of Leamington Spa Cllr- Kailash Chander, 79, leaving Coventry Magistrates court where he has been charged with causing the deaths of two people after a double-decker bus he was driving crashed into a Sainsbury's supermarket in Coventry city centre almost two years ago.

A Leamington bus driver has appeared in court charged with causing the deaths of a seven-year-old boy from Leamington and a pensioner after a double decker crashed into a Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Kailash Chander, 79, a former mayor of Leamington, is accused of losing control of the 13-ton Stagecoach bus which rammed into the front of the city centre store.

FILE PICTURE - Rowan Fitzgerald.  A former mayor and bus driver is due in court accused of killing a pedestrian and a seven-year-old passenger in a city centre crash.  See NTI story NTIBUS.  Kailash Chander, 79, is alleged to have caused the deaths of Rowan Fitzgerald and 76-year-old Dora Hancox by dangerous driving in Coventry in October 2015.  Chander, from Leamington Spa, also faces two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, while bus operator Midland Red (South) Ltd has been charged with two health and safety offences.  Kailash Chander, was arrested after a 13-ton Stagecoach bus ploughed into the front of the Sainsbury's supermarket  in Coventry city centre at 6pm on October 3, 2015.  Seven-year-old Rowan Fitzgerald, who was sitting on the top deck, died in the crash along with Dora Hancox, 76, who was walking on Trinity Street when the bus hit her.  Chander is a former mayor of Leamington Spa, Warks.

FILE PICTURE - Rowan Fitzgerald. A former mayor and bus driver is due in court accused of killing a pedestrian and a seven-year-old passenger in a city centre crash. See NTI story NTIBUS. Kailash Chander, 79, is alleged to have caused the deaths of Rowan Fitzgerald and 76-year-old Dora Hancox by dangerous driving in Coventry in October 2015. Chander, from Leamington Spa, also faces two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, while bus operator Midland Red (South) Ltd has been charged with two health and safety offences. Kailash Chander, was arrested after a 13-ton Stagecoach bus ploughed into the front of the Sainsbury's supermarket in Coventry city centre at 6pm on October 3, 2015. Seven-year-old Rowan Fitzgerald, who was sitting on the top deck, died in the crash along with Dora Hancox, 76, who was walking on Trinity Street when the bus hit her. Chander is a former mayor of Leamington Spa, Warks.

Seven-year-old Rowan Fitzgerald was sitting in the top deck with his grandfather when he was killed in the crash which happened at 6pm on Saturday October 3, 2015.

Dora Hancox, 76, also died when she was hit by the bus as she walked past the cash machine of the supermarket on Trinity Street in Coventry city centre.

Chander appeared at Coventry Magistrates Court today (Thursday September 7) charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The former Labour councillor wore a dark blue pinstripe suit and sat motionless during the nine-minute hearing where he spoke only to confirm his name, age and address.

FILE PICTURE - The Stagecoach bus that ploughed into the Sainsbury's supermarket in Coventry.  A former mayor and bus driver is due in court accused of killing a pedestrian and a seven-year-old passenger in a city centre crash.  See NTI story NTIBUS.  Kailash Chander, 79, is alleged to have caused the deaths of Rowan Fitzgerald and 76-year-old Dora Hancox by dangerous driving in Coventry in October 2015.  Chander, from Leamington Spa, also faces two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, while bus operator Midland Red (South) Ltd has been charged with two health and safety offences.  Kailash Chander, was arrested after a 13-ton Stagecoach bus ploughed into the front of the Sainsbury's supermarket  in Coventry city centre at 6pm on October 3, 2015.  Seven-year-old Rowan Fitzgerald, who was sitting on the top deck, died in the crash along with Dora Hancox, 76, who was walking on Trinity Street when the bus hit her.  Chander is a former mayor of Leamington Spa, Warks.

FILE PICTURE - The Stagecoach bus that ploughed into the Sainsbury's supermarket in Coventry. A former mayor and bus driver is due in court accused of killing a pedestrian and a seven-year-old passenger in a city centre crash. See NTI story NTIBUS. Kailash Chander, 79, is alleged to have caused the deaths of Rowan Fitzgerald and 76-year-old Dora Hancox by dangerous driving in Coventry in October 2015. Chander, from Leamington Spa, also faces two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, while bus operator Midland Red (South) Ltd has been charged with two health and safety offences. Kailash Chander, was arrested after a 13-ton Stagecoach bus ploughed into the front of the Sainsbury's supermarket in Coventry city centre at 6pm on October 3, 2015. Seven-year-old Rowan Fitzgerald, who was sitting on the top deck, died in the crash along with Dora Hancox, 76, who was walking on Trinity Street when the bus hit her. Chander is a former mayor of Leamington Spa, Warks.

He was granted unconditional bail and was ordered to appear before Warwick Crown Court on Friday October 6.

His employer, Stagecoach Midland Red, were in court accused of two counts of failing to discharge the employer’s general duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

That case was adjourned and they were ordered to return to the magistrates court on Thursday September 14 where they are due to enter a plea.

An inquest held last October heard Rowan died from blunt head trauma when the bus struck the top of the shop, while Mrs Hancox, from Nuneaton, suffered multiple injuries.