Tributes to students killed in South Africa bus crash
Updated on 11 June 2010
Friends and relatives have paid tribute to three students killed in a bus crash on the final day of a field trip to South Africa.
The three were named this morning as Eleanor Payne, 19, from Hinckley in Leicestershire, Samantha Lake, 19 and Daniel Greenwood, 22, both from Syston in Leicestershire.
Four other students from Brooksby Melton College in Melton Mowbray remain seriously ill in hospital.
The students' bus overturned at a notorious accident blackspot at Barberton near Nelspruit yesterday lunchtime.
They were on a college field trip, and had just visited a monkey sanctuary in Swaziland when the accident happened.
Police told Channel 4 News they had not ruled out charges against the Zimbabwean bus driver. He attended a police station voluntarily, and a case of culpable homicide has been opened against him.
South African police spokesman Leonard Hlathi said investigations would continue into driver: "We have not arrested him. Our forensic department are carrying out an investigation.
"We don't want to jump to conclusions."
Mark Bendle, assistant principal at Brooksby Melton College described the college as a "tight knit community".
"Our thoughts and sympathies are with their families and friends at this terrible time," he said.
"We will be providing counselling and support today for all our students and staff who have been deeply affected by what has happened."
Diane Smith, a family friend of Eleanor Payne, described her as a "wonderful girl".
"She had a lovely personality - we feel so sorry for the family and for her boyfriend Ashley. She was a lovely girl," she said.
The six survivors who have already been discharged from hospital left the hotel in a minibus and declined to speak to the media.
Wearing shorts, T-shirts and sandals, their bruises - on faces, shoulders and necks - were clearly visible.
Their South Africa tour guide, Trevor Dearlove, 65, who was also on the bus when it overturned, left with them.
He said simply: "We've had a tough time."