TEENAGER Marc Jackson was pushed off a school bus and terribly injured, a court was told.

The Golcar boy landed beneath the wheels of the bus after horseplay among student passengers, it was claimed.

And Bradford Crown Court was told he had to be airlifted to hospital to save his life.

Marc, a pupil at Colne Valley High School in Linthwaite, was crushed when the wheels of the bus ran over his abdomen as it drove through Milnsbridge on April 26, 2002.

He was seriously injured and spent months recovering in hospital.

Bus driver Peter Marsh, 56, of Rock Cottages, New Mill, has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving.

Prosecutor Jonathan Gibson told the court that Marsh was taking pupils home in a single-decker bus, fitted with folding doors at the front.

The doors were opened by a button on the driver's control panel and an emergency button above the doors.

On the day of the accident, Marc boarded the bus accompanied by two other boys.

They engaged in horseplay near the doors, including getting on and off the bus and hanging out of the open doors.

"Shortly after that horseplay, Marc Jackson fell from the open door of the bus," said Mr Gibson.

"It is the prosecution's contention that Marc, in one way or another, appears to have been pushed from the bus."

Mr Gibson said that dangerous driving was driving that fell far below what would be expected from a careful, competent driver.

Marc, who will be 16 in April, gave evidence to the court from another room, via a video link.

He told the court that the bus was packed with pupils and some were standing because there were not enough seats left.

He admitted that he had been messing about and one friend had opened the bus door while the bus was moving.

He added: "I held on to the rail and hung my body backwards out of the bus two or three times."

Later, he sat on the step of the bus as it was being driven.

"The bus was just about to go round a corner. No-one was hanging off. I was being kneed in my back. The next thing I remember is being under the bus," he said.

Mr Stuart Driver, counsel for Marsh, said all parties agreed that the bus doors were open at the time of the accident.

Under cross-examination, Marc said that he was sitting on the step and was lower than the level of the bus driver.

There were also about five other people standing behind him.

The situation degenerated with spitting and kicking taking place.

Witness Ricky Mattin, 17, a former pupil of Royds Hall High School at Paddock, said he was in Milnsbridge and saw the incident.

"I saw someone jumping off or falling off through the doors of the bus," he said.

Mr Mattin, who was 16 at the time but is now a soldier, added: "As the bus came further down the road, the nearside back wheel went over the person."