Bus driver ‘mistook accelerator pedal for the brake’ before he crushed female pedestrian, 32, to death against another double-deckers at Victoria station

  • Melissa Burr, 32, is thought to have been walking between two electric buses 
  • One of them is said to have shot forward and crashed into the back of another
  • Miss Burr pronounced dead at scene of crash outside London Victoria station
  • Crash investigation could lead to major safety review of capital’s electric buses

A bus driver was today said to have been suffering from ‘pedal confusion’ when he pushed the accelerator rather than the brake, causing a fatal crash in London.

Melissa Burr, 32, of Rainham, Kent, is thought to have been walking between two electric buses when one of them shot forward and crashed into the back of another.

The crash outside London Victoria station involved two single decker buses in the morning rush hour on August 10 and Miss Burr was pronounced dead at the scene.

Transport for London’s safety committee heard that ‘alleged pedal confusion’ was thought to be the cause, and it could lead to a major safety review of electric buses.

It involved two buses on the 507 route, which was the first to be fully electric in Central London along with the 521 when introduced in 2016 by Mayor Sadiq Khan. 

Melissa Burr, 32, from Rainham in Kent, was killed outside Victoria Railway Station on Tuesday

Miss Burr, from Rainham, Kent, had been in a relationship with James Watson since May 2018

Miss Burr was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash outside London Victoria in August

TfL’s director of buses Louise Cheeseman told the committee: ‘Pedal confusion was just one element – alleged pedal confusion. There were other human factors involved in this. We are having a look and investigating the actual layout of the bus depot. 

‘We are doing a thorough investigation into whether there are any improvements that could be made and can be made in the future.’

Ms Cheesman later told the Evening Standard that TfL was carrying out a probe with bus operator Go Ahead, as well as helping the Health and Safety Executive.

Eyewitnesses said Miss Burr became trapped under one of the buses, and police said a total of three pedestrians were involved in the crash at about 8.25am. 

Metropolitan Police officers at the scene of the crash outside London Victoria in August

The area outside Victoria station was cordoned off for investigations after the crash in August

Miss Burr was pronounced dead at the scene, and two other people were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

In a tribute to Miss Burr following her death in August, her family described her as a ‘kind and thoughtful soul’ who had a ‘quirky charm’.

In a statement issued through the Metropolitan Police, a spokesman for Ms Burr’s family said: ‘We are absolutely devastated by loss and the hole that this incident has left in our lives.

‘Melissa was a kind and thoughtful soul, had a quirky charm with such a bright future ahead of her.

The scene outside London Victoria train station after the fatal crash on August 10

‘As a family we naturally want to understand how such a tragedy occurred, but for now we just want time and space to mourn our beautiful Melissa and send her to rest with her late father.’

Big Issue seller Jacob Davidson, 36, described how passers-by ‘swarmed’ the scene following the crash in an attempt to help.

He said: ‘It was just a loud bang, the bus smashed into the back of the one in front. The front of it was all smashed in. There was a sound of panic… people shouting ‘can we get help’.’ 

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