A FORMER Isle of Wight bus driver accused of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, after three passengers sustained broken backs in a crash in Arreton, will go before a judge later this year.

Paul Brookes, of New Road, Brading, a former Southern Vectis driver, appeared before Isle of Wight magistrates on Tuesday, February 13.

The 49-year-old denied three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, in Arreton, on December 1, 2021.

He is accused of missing a turning on the A3056, failing to negotiate a bend, and driving into a field off East Lane.

A total of 12 passengers were on the bus at the time of the alleged offence, spread across both decks, said Liz Miller, prosecuting.

The court heard multiple passengers were injured and three sustained broken backs.

The bus left the road near East Lane just before 6pm, remaining on four wheels and coming to a halt in a farmer’s field.

It was a major incident and the rescue operation to free the injured took more than 80 minutes, said Ms Miller.

Mr Brookes saw his case adjourned to March 18 for a plea and trial preparation hearing at the Isle of Wight Crown Court.

He was granted unconditional bail.