On 20th March 2000, one of the Tate Haulage lorries driven by Pete Collins was found to be faulty. Pete raised his concerns to Chris Tate, but he was too busy, so Pete, despite his misgivings, used the lorry. Back in the village, Viv Windsor was protesting against the village community bus. The bus passengers were Kathy Glover, Butch Dingle, Alan Turner, Sarah Sugden, her daughter Victoria, Marc Reynolds, Seth Armstrong and Bob Simmons who was a councillor friend of Eric Pollard.
On the road, Pete was having difficulties with his lorry, as it couldn't brake. Just as the bus was about to make its way to Hotten, the lorry crashed into the minibus on Main Street, killing Pete instantly. Paddy Kirk was first on the scene and he rescued Alan, but broke his hand in the process. Angie Reynolds reported the incident and was shocked when she discovered that Marc was inside the bus. Meanwhile, the villagers decided to use The Woolpack as a first aid centre for minor injuries. Slowly, the fire brigade began pulling out survivors. Butch's girlfriend Emily Wylie watched worriedly with his stepmother Lisa, hoping for Butch to survive. Marc was the first pulled out, followed by Seth; both were taken to hospital. The fire brigade learned that the lorry could completely collapse on the bus if they rushed the rescue, which would have killed everyone on the bus. Meanwhile, Chris and his sister Zoe thought that Chris' son Joseph was on board the bus along with Zoe's girlfriend, Frankie Smith. Chris raged at Viv and blamed her for the entire crash; a few minutes later, however, both Frankie and Joseph arrived at the scene: it turned out that Frankie had taken Joseph to the play park around the back of the village. Chris thought that they were on their way to Hotten on the doomed bus. Zoe was relieved that they were both safe. Sarah's husband Jack, his son, Robert and his adoptive son Andy, eventually arrive and a few moments later Sarah is pulled out the bus badly injured and hysterical, as Victoria is still on the bus along with Kathy and Butch (the councillor had died at the scene).
In the next episode, Victoria and Kathy are finally pulled out and are taken to hospital. Butch was taken out a while later, but had more severe injuries, as he was sitting in direct impact of the lorry when it hit.
Butch was taken to hospital with Emily at his side. The Dingles followed on, but it was clear that Butch did not have very long, so in one of the most touching scenes in Emmerdale's history Butch married Emily on his deathbed and died hours later. His death devastated his family, but none more so than his father, Zak, who had already lost one of his other sons, Ben, just six years earlier. The Dingles blamed Chris for what happened, as it was one of his lorries involved in the crash.
Known Fatalities Edit
- Butch Dingle - Butch was sitting in direct impact of the lorry when it hit, so Butch's injuries were more severe than the other living bus passengers. Butch was taken to hospital and girlfriend Emily Wylie went with him, but it soon became apparent that Butch didn't have long left as he had more internal injuries than first suspected. Knowing he would die, Butch married Emily on his deathbed and died a few hours later. The Dingle family was devastated by Butch's death, and held a grudge against Chris Tate because of it.
- Pete Collins - Pete was driving the Tate Haulage lorry, and was killed when it collides with a bus before toppling on top of it.
- Councillor Simmons - Simmons was a councillor that Eric Pollard knew through the council. He was killed instantly as a result of the bus crash, and Eric identified his body.
- Patricia Holmes - Patricia was one of Ashley Thomas' parishioners. She was killed instantly as a result of the bus crash, and Ashley identified her body. Patricia was the last person to be pulled out of the wreckage dead.