Madrid, January 12 - A judge in Catalonia has ordered the reopening of criminal proceedings in relation to a coach crash last March in which 13 young students including seven Italians were killed, Spanish media reported on Thursday. The driver, who was badly injured in the crash and allegedly told first responders he had fallen asleep at the wheel, will now be heard in court for the first time. In his Thursday ruling the judge upheld an appeal by the victims' families for the case to be reopened following its dismissal by a preliminary investigations judge last October on grounds there were no criminal charges to answer. Investigators had initially opened a probe against the driver for multiple manslaughter. The victims' families hailed the news on Thursday. "I hope the investigation will now clarify everything. The tragedy didn't happen by chance but because of a journey that that been organised in a crazy manner with a murderous timetable," said Paolo Bonello, father of Genoese medical student Francesca, 23, one of the Italian victims of the accident. The bus was taking a group of Erasmus exchange students back to their base in Barcelona after a 24-hour round trip to Valencia for the city's famous Fallas festival.
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