One man has died and two people have been "seriously" injured in a collision between a bus and a car in North Ayrshire. The 53-year-old driver of a silver Mercedes died at the scene of the crash on the A78 near Hunterston Roundabout, located north of West Kilbride, today (31 October).
The male bus driver of the Stagecoach 585 service and a female passenger on the bus were taken by helicopter to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow after sustaining "serious" head injuries.
Another eight bus passengers, six women and two men, were taken by ambulance to either Inverclyde Royal Hospital or Crosshouse Hospital for treatment. The Mercedes driver was said to have been travelling alone at the time.
The collision happened at about 10.10am, and the A78 road (Irvine Road) has been subsequently closed between the Hunterston roundabout and the Clydeport roundabout while the incident is investigated.
A spokesman for Stagecoach West Scotland said that the safety of passengers and staff is the company's "highest" priority. They said: "We can confirm that a car was in collision with one of our vehicles operating the 585 service near Largs.
"Our first thoughts are with the people who have been involved in the incident. The safety of our passengers and staff is our highest priory and we are assisting the police fully with their investigation into the circumstances."
A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said that two helicopters attended the scene. They said: "We received an emergency call shortly after 10am this morning for a road traffic accident involving a bus.
"We responded with multiple vehicles, including six ambulances, one paramedic response unit, a full special operations response team, area services managers, the EMRS (Emergency Medical Retrieval Service) and two helicopters.
"This was a serious road traffic accident. We worked with our colleagues from Police Scotland and the fire service. We conveyed 10 patients to multiple hospitals, including Inverclyde, Crosshouse and Queen Elizabeth University Hospital."
Ayrshire Police closed the road for the time being whilst inquirers are continuing. A statement posted to Facebook said: "The 53 year old male driver of the Mercedes (sole occupant) died at the scene. A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal."
Anyone with information relating to the crash can call Police Scotland on 101.