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Bus driver airlifted to hospital after A96 crash

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A bus driver was airlifted to hospital seriously hurt last night after his vehicle overturned on a busy north-east road.

Emergency services were called to the A96 Aberdeen-Elgin stretch, south of Cairnie, at 7.30pm.

It is understood the RS Coaches vehicle was driving south towards Huntly when it veered across the opposite carriageway.

It overturned on a steep bank on the other side of the road.

There were no passengers on board at the time.

Dean Morrison was driving behind the bus when it happened.

The Invergordon resident said: “It swerved across the oncoming lane and then ramped up the kerb and a steep bank at the side of the road.

“It ended up on its side.”

Mr Morrison then tried to access the emergency hatch on the side of the vehicle to switch off the engine.

When this did not work, he smashed the back window of the bus and crawled inside to turn the key.

The oil and gas apprentice remained in the vehicle with the 60-year-old driver until emergency services arrived a short time later.

Paramedics began treating the man for his injuries while he was still trapped in the wreckage.

Firefighters had to cut him free from the vehicle and stabilise it so the man could escape.

Three crews were sent to the scene.

An air ambulance had arrived at the roadside by 8.30pm and flew the casualty to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Police closed the A96 in both directions late into the night.

Traffic was diverted along the B9022 and through the village of Cairnie to get past.

The Sauchen-based bus company enlisted the help of a local farmer to help clear the road.

A tractor was used to right the coach so the wreckage could be cleared.

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