Police investigating a British motorway coach death crash that killed five people were tonight looking a the possibility that the driver fell asleep at the wheel.
The coach’s two drivers were among those who died when the coach careered off the M25 and overturned after a day trip to France.
Graham Spring, 56, Christopher Sloane and Mr Sloane’s wife Karen all died in the crash late on Saturday night.
Two others who died have not been identified.
The other 40 passengers were injured and two remained in intensive care tonight.
All the passengers were day trippers from the Evesham area of Worcestershire, travelling back to their homes from a shopping trip to northern France.
Disaster struck when the coach crashed between junctions 15 and 16 on the M25 near Slough, Berks at 11.25pm on Saturday night.
Police are still trying to find out the cause of the accident but said no other vehicle was involved.
Sgt Phil Haseler, of Thames Valley traffic police, said it was believed that Christopher Sloane had been at the wheel at the time.
“It (the driver falling asleep) is always something that we look at if another vehicle is not involved in a crash,” he said.
He said officers would also check the vehicle to ensure it was mechanically sound, inspect the tachograph and check for any alcohol content in the bodies of the drivers during the post mortem tests.
The coach firm is a family business, WR Spring and Son in Evesham, owned by victim Graham Spring.
Mr Spring leaves two children, sons aged 22 and 19, one of whom also worked as a coach driver.
Today his sister, Pam Spring, said: “It’s very difficult. I have lost my brother who was the rock of the business. I am just numb with shock.”
She said Mr Sloane, a father of two who in his late 30s, had been with the Evesham-based firm for 10 years.
“He was very loyal to the company and he was a lovely man,” she added.
The Sloanes’ children, a 16-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy, were being looked after by family members, said a friend.
The dead and 28 of the injured were initially taken to Wexham Park Hospital in Slough. Twenty-one were discharged after treatment for minor injuries.
Hillingdon Hospital in Uxbridge treated 12 victims, five men and seven women, but only two remained in care today, and both have injuries that are not life threatening according to a hospital spokesman.
A woman had surgery this morning and was now in intensive care and thought to be in a serious condition.
A spokesman for W. R. Spring and Son said all its coaches were fitted with seat belts, although passengers were not compelled to wear them by law.
Coach passenger Adrian Jones, 39, from Evesham, said he was very lucky to get out alive.
Mr Jones, nursing cuts and bruises, said: “The coach just swerved across – I don’t actually remember it going across, I just remember it going down the embankment.
“People were screaming. We were just all very lucky to get out alive, apart from those five who died.”