CHARGES against a former chief executive of Avon Rubber following a fatal motorway crash have been dropped by the French courts.

The accident happened in 1990, when a coach carrying holidaymakers from the Midlands spun off a motorway near Paris, killing 11 people.

Driver John Johnstone was among 43 others injured.

Mr Mitchard was chief executive of the Avon Rubber Group at the time, and became involved in the court case because one of the coach's front tyres, one of thousands manufactured at Avon's Melksham works, burst during the accident.

Three years ago the French courts charged Mr Mitchard with 11 counts of involuntary manslaughter and 43 counts of involuntary wounding.

Alan Eardley, boss of holiday firm Montego European Travel, faced a similar set of charges.

Mr Mitchard's lawyer lodged an appeal because he argued that the charges had not been served properly.

"The court has said that the charges brought against Mr Mitchard had not been correctly served and therefore those charges cannot stand," said solicitor Howard Watson.

The prosecution could still decide to charge Mr Mitchard again.

"The matter is really in the hands of the French courts. It is up to them to come to a decision," said Mr Watson.

It is not clear what will happen to Mr Eardley and the coach driver, who was also due to appear in court to face charges following the accident.