The group of ten, all aged 19 and 20, were on a minibus to Garden Festival when the driver fell asleep at the wheel. The vehicle then hit a roadside barrier and flipped upside down.
All ten were rushed to hospital with many suffering from severe injuries, including fractured backs and broken bones. The incident occurred on July 12, four of the group were discharged the same day while six remained hospitalised.
Leeds Uni student Cesca Tillyard told Leeds Student: “We were lying in the motorway for over an hour not knowing what had happened to each other. The majority of us couldn’t move because we had injured our backs.”
Despite ordering a taxi for 10 people the friends were forced to accept the eight-seater minibus that was equipped only two seatbelts in order to make their flight home.
Many of the group were concerned with the driver, who played loud music to try and stay awake and stopped twice in two hours for coffee. Tilyard, who suffered a broken leg, said “it was a horrendous experience”.
Colette Alderson, a second year Maths student at Leeds, has been confined to a wheelchair after sustaining back injuries and received stitches for a head injury.
The bus driver is now facing criminal charges and member of the group, who wishes to remain anonymous, is suing the minibus company.
One of the group remains hospitalised in Manchester.
A University spokesman commented: “We were extremely sorry to hear about this incident and wish all those involved a speedy recovery.”