Investigators that have been examining the cause of a fatal bus accident in a tunnel in the Swiss alps in March, leaving 22 children and six adults dead, have stated that the findings of their investigation are inconclusive in a report released to the media last week.
The driver of the bus, a 34 year old Belgian national, was found to have heart problems in the investigation, but officials are unable to determine whether his heart problems contributed at all to the accident.
The driver, who died in the accident, was also reportedly taking anti-depressants daily at the time of the accident. His blood showed slightly raised levels of the anti-depressant, according the to post mortem report released on Thursday last week.
A case was opened after the fatal bus accident in an attempt to determine whether the driver was at fault in causing the crash. The prosecutors in the case requested that further post mortem examinations be performed by forensic pathologists to determine whether the driver’s anti-depressant use of ischemic heart disease may have played a role in causing the accident.
According to the post mortem report, the cause of the driver’s death were the severe injuries he received as a result of trauma when the bus smashed into the walls of the tunnel at high speed. There were no signs of a heart attack found in the post mortem examination. Apart from the anti-depressants, no other drugs or alcohol was found in the driver’s blood.
The driver’s left coronary artery was narrowed by more than 60 percent, a significant narrowing that would no doubt have lead to symptoms of heart pain, or angina. However the patient was not on any heart medication and the pathologist who compiled the report emphasized that there is no indication that an ischemic heart event occurred at the time of the accident.
The tragic bus smash, which killed 28 Belgian citizens on their way back from a school skiing trip, sent the quiet European country into mourning in March 2012. The prosecutor, Olivier Elsig, stated in a report released in June that their investigations into the accident were focusing largely on the driver, as previous hypotheses of another vehicle being involved, a problem with the bus mechanics and a defect in the road on which the bus was travelling had all been excluded. Now that the post mortem results on the driver have been found to be inconclusive, the investigation will continue in other avenues, says Elsig.