Newlyweds on a once in a lifetime cruise of the Mediterranean have received accident compensation after their Italian tour bus was involved in a head-on collision in which one person died.

Angela and Simon Howland from Leeds were half way through their dream holiday in June 2008 when the bus was forced to swerve to avoid a head-on collision with a car as they travelled through a tunnel between the Italian cities of Sorrento and Pompeii.

The bus, carrying passengers from their cruise ship on an excursion, crashed into the tunnel walls, leaving the driver seriously injured and its passengers with varying personal injuries. The driver of the on-coming car was killed.

Approaching car tried to overtake and collided with bus

Angela, 34, and Simon, 39, were sitting just four rows from the front of the bus. Simon watched in horror as the approaching car pulled out of its lane to try to overtake and smashed straight into the bus.

His quick reactions meant he was able to brace himself and his new wife against the full impact of the crash.

Angela suffered from severe bruising on her legs and cuts to her face and hands. Simon had minor cuts and bruises to his face and hands. He has since suffered from flashbacks.

More than a year later, Angela still has a lump on her leg despite receiving physiotherapy.

Holiday was ruined by accident

The couple had married just a week earlier in Leeds after being together for six years. They were on a cruise which had already stopped in Tunisia and Naples. They were travelling to visit the city of Pompeii before the ship sailed for Florence and Monte Carlo.

Following the accident they were taken to a local hospital for treatment. Those passengers who were well enough were able to continue their cruise.

Angela said the accident ruined what should have been the best holiday of their lives.

She said: “We were fortunate that our injuries weren’t worse. We were able to continue our holiday, but my leg was so badly injured I wasn’t able to go on any more excursions. Despite having paid in advance for trips to visit a number of cities, but we had to sit and watch while everyone else disembarked. We said one day we would have to come back to finish the cruise properly.

“It should have been a dream holiday, but the crash left us shocked and injured.”