Schoolgirl killed as coach crashes in blizzard

A SCHOOLGIRL has been killed in a coach crash as Britain was blasted by "absolutely atrocious" snowstorms - four days into British Summer Time.

The 17-year-old died and 11 other youngsters from Lanark Grammar School were injured after their bus travelling to Alton Towers plunged into a river during heavy blizzards.

Emergency services took four seriously injured children to hospital after the coach drove into water off the A73, at Wiston, in South Lanarkshire, shortly after 6am.

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Local resident Bill Wood described "absolutely atrocious" conditions with heavy snow and high winds.

A Strathclyde police spokesman said the reason for the crash was still being investigated. But he said driving conditions in the area were "horrendous".

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and the ambulance service attended the scene and treated casualties. A spokesman for the ambulance service said casualties had been taken to Wishaw General Hospital, while those with minor injuries were being assessed at the scene.

The dead girl was identified by a teacher and her parents are understood to have been told.

Superintendent Iain Murray, head of road policing for Strathclyde Police, said: "Our hearts and our thoughts go to the families and those who have been seriously injured."

He also paid tribute to motorists who assisted at the roadside.

Two of the crash victims were airlifted to Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, which specialises in serious head injuries.