- The crash happened at 11.50pm on the A3 near Hindhead in Surrey, heading towards London from the Isle of Wight
- Injured passengers have been taken to six different hospitals
- There were 53 on board coach travelling from Isle of Wight to Merseyside
- The three bodies are still inside the vehicle, Surrey Police say
- Its driver Colin Daulby, who was in his sixties, is among the dead
- 35-year-old also died at Bestival in camper van on Saturday
By Martin Robinson
PUBLISHED: 01:20 EST, 11 September 2012 | UPDATED: 12:22 EST, 11 September 2012
Road death: Coach driver Colin Daulby, from Warrington, was one of three fatally injured when a bus careered off the A3 late last night
Colin Daulby has been named as the driver who was killed with two other passengers when his coach careered off a dual carriageway and smashed into an oak tree.
More than 50 revellers were on board when the bus they had chartered to take them home from the Bestival music festival to Merseyside careered off the northbound A3 at Hindhead in Surrey at 11.50pm last night.
The three dead were still on the crumpled coach 12 hours after the crash while a fourth passenger was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital and remains in a serious condition.
Some survivors have suffered life-changing injuries, Surrey Police say, including several lost limbs.
Mr Daulby, from Warrington, was in his early 60s and believed to have had two children.
The other two killed in the crash have not been identified.
Mr Daulby was driving the coach back from Bestival but only an hour into the journey from Portsmouth, where the Isle of Wight ferry lands, the bus careered off the road and into the giant oak.
The cause of the crash has not yet been revealed, but police are expected to consider whether the coach may have been overloaded as part of their investigation.
Sources said there were believed to be 53 people on board but the vehicle only has 52 seats, including the driver's.
Passengers, some of whom have serious injuries, have been taken to the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey, St George's Hospital in Tooting, King's College Hospital in London, Frimley Park Hospital and Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.
The walking wounded from the crash were taken to St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey, where 23 were treated and the majority have now been discharged, a spokeswoman for the hospital said.
Scroll down for latest update
Aftermath: Emergency services continue to work at the crash site near Hindhead in Surrey, which claimed the life of the driver and two passengers
Investigation: A policeman walks through the coach's skidmarks where it left the dual carriageway
Life-changing: Police have confirmed that some of those who survived the horror crash may have lost legs or arms
Colin Daulby's boss Mike Dower, manager of the coach company Merseypride, said: 'Colin was a personal friend and a brilliant driver who was very conscientious.
'He'd only been with us for a few months but was very experienced and he had a great rapport with everyone.
'The news is very upsetting and we wish to offer our condolences to his family and the other families affected.
'This is the first time this kind of thing has happened in the company.'
Mr Dower said he doubted whether driver error or tiredness could have caused the crash and revealed that Mr Dower and had had a "good rest" after staying with his sister in Portsmouth.
Belongings: Forensic officers recover a guitar from the wreckage of the coach
Huge operation: The emergency services are still working to remove bodies from the coach
He added that the coach had been privately hired by a group of 50 people and was due to return to Liverpool in the early hours of Tuesday.
Five casualties were taken to the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford and a spokeswoman said that two remain there receiving treatment.
Speaking this lunchtime Inspector Richard Mallett said: 'The injuries range from life-changing injuries - some people were unconscious when they were taken away from here.
'We believe some people might lose limbs and certainly there are some life-changing injuries amongst the survivors.
'The priority is to get the people out of the coach and then we can really begin to look at forwarding the investigation.
Tragic: The bus crashed on the A3 near Hindhead in Surrey leaving three dead and more badly injured
Rescue: Some of the 53 passengers still remained trapped inside the bus, far left, this morning as emergency services worked through the night
'We don't think that the road conditions or the weather were a factor in this.'
Asked how long the coach had been on the road, he said: 'We understand that it left the Isle of Wight festival so we are less than an hour from Portsmouth where they come across.
'So less than an hour of this journey. As to what the previous was, we don't know. Again, we need to make sure that we get the people out properly and then we can start looking at things like tacho charts and forwarding the investigation.'
Shock: David Hannell, owner of Merseypride, paid tribute to his driver and those killed in the bus crash today
'Every survivor was taken to hospital, then some were taken after that to a local reception centre. I understand that some have been collected and taken home,' he said.
The road was closed in both directions shortly after the incident, and Surrey Police , Surrey Fire and Rescue and South East Coast Ambulance Service all attended the scene, along with collision investigators.
The organisers of Bestival said: 'This is devastating news, our thoughts are with the relatives of those affected by this tragic incident.
'We are currently liaising with Surrey Police to establish the facts.'
One of the passengers injured in the Bestival coach crash is a DJ who works for Liverpool radio station Juice FM.
Unconfirmed reports claim Chris McGee is in a serious condition with broken bones and is being treated in hospital.
Inspector Richard Mallett added: 'We are dealing with a major incident, a tragic major incident, the coach has gone off the road and had a significant impact with a tree, I think that is the best way to describe it.
'As you can imagine it is a very delicate operation to recover the bodies from the coach and are working with our colleagues in the emergency services and the coroner's office.
'With all due respect to them, we need to get them out properly. We are reasonably confident that the driver is still in there.
He added: 'We are confident that there is no-one left in the vehicle alive. Our colleagues from the fire and ambulance service with their specialist teams have been through the vehicle. It is a body recovery operation at this point here.
Distraught: Merseypride boss David Hannell, is shown being consoled by his staff and colleagues outside the coach depot
'There are casualties at hospitals along the south coast and towards London and it is a major operation for us.'
The coach is from the Merseyside area and Surrey Police is working with its counterparts at Merseyside Police, as well as with the coach company, to identify the passengers and notify relatives.
Passengers are being taken to a rest centre which has been set up nearby by Waverley Council.
Surrey Police Assistant Chief Constable Jerry Kirkby said: 'This has been declared a major incident and we are working with our colleagues from the other emergency services and other partner agencies to provide a co-ordinated response in line with agreed protocols.
'Our thoughts remain with the relatives of the dead and the injured at this time and we are working very hard to notify their next of kin.'
The road is expected to remain closed for the several hours and diversions are in place. Motorists are asked to avoid the area until the road can be reopened.
The owner of coach company Merseypride Travel has expressed its 'deepest condolences to the bereaved' after three of its passengers died in the crash at Hindhead.
A member of staff added to MailOnline: 'Surrey Police spoke to the owner after it happened and told him there had been an accident but the details so far have been sketchy.'
Eileen Hannell, the wife of coach company owner David Hannell, said today the family were shocked and sad.
She said: 'There's nothing we can say because my husband doesn't know that much.
'I was coming back from holiday and he picked me up at the airport this morning and said, 'I've got some sad news'.
'He had a phone call from the police at 2.30am and was told there were two people in hospital and three people dead.'
Mrs Hannell, who lives with her husband in Runcorn, Cheshire, declined to identify the driver but said he had worked for them 'for quite a while' although she had never met him.
Journey: The coach was taking revellers back from the Bestival music festival when it crashed in Surrey
Dark cloud: Tens of thousands enjoyed the music at the event but this tragedy has upset many who were there
She said they had run Merseypride for 10 years.
'Nothing like this has ever happened before,' she added.
MAN, 35, DIES IN HIS CAMPER VAN AT BESTIVAL MUSIC FESTIVAL
A reveller died on Sunday after being found unconscious in a camper van at Bestival.
Police were called to the van, which was parked at one of the Isle of Wight event’s campsites, at about 11.20pm on Saturday, according to a police spokesman.
'The 35-year-old man from Kent was taken to hospital where he was later pronounced dead,' he said.
'The death is not being treated as suspicious.
'Next-of-kin have been informed, but police will not be in a position to name the man in the media until all formal identification procedures are completed.
'A post-mortem examination to help establish the cause of death is due to take place later this week.'
The Isle of Wight coroner has been notified and will open an inquest in due course.
'As soon as he heard he went into the office and was there all through the night. My husband is busy taking phone calls and trying to find out what's happening - we just don't know.
'It's awful. We are all shocked and still trying to take it in. It's very sad.'
Festival goers have headed to forums to pay their respects to those who died.
One said: 'Sending all my love, power and energy to all those involved in this devastating tragedy. What sort of people can be bothered to get on a coach drive all that way to sleep rough for a weekend for the love of music??? The best people. The most beautiful people. My thoughts and love are with you forever.'
Drivers faced long rush-hour delays on major routes today following last night's fatal coach crash.
Motorists trying to get round the congestion by using the M3 endured long delays on the London-bound section, while there were also delays on the M25 in Surrey.
On the A3 in Surrey, the Hindhead Tunnel near the accident scene was closed in both directions between Hazel Grove Interchange at Hindhead and the Thursley junction.
The official diversion route via the A325 via Bordon and the A31 via the Hogs Back had long delays northbound.
There was also queueing traffic on the A287 Hindhead Road and on the A31 in Farnham, while there were long delays on the A325 northbound in Hampshire.
Those drivers trying to skirt the jams also faced hold-ups on the M23 at its junction with the M25 north of Gatwick airport.
The closed section of the A3 was due to reopen at 4pm today.
A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: 'We are all working hard to re-open the A3 as soon as possible.
'Signed diversion routes are in operation with all northbound traffic advised to follow the diamond symbol and all southbound traffic advised to follow the triangle symbol roadside signage.
'The road will remain closed while Surrey Police complete their investigations and will be reopened as soon as it is safe to do so.'
If people are worried a loved-one was on the coach they should call the police casualty number: 0800 056 0154.
VIDEO: Police deliver latest update from the scene of the crash
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