Truck driver charged over school bus crash

A 42-year-old man has been charged with dangerous driving over a horror school bus crash last year which left more than 30 children injured in Ruatoki.

Police said the man was driving a logging truck that slammed into the back of a school bus while it was parked to drop children off south of Whakatane on September 5.

The bus and cab of the truck were shunted about 50m into a paddock while the trailer tipped on the road.

Many school children received minor to serious injuries, while an 8-year-old was left in a critical condition.

Bay of Plenty road policing manager Kevin Taylor said the crash was one of the worst his officers had ever attended.

It warranted a lengthy investigation, he said.

"This was a very serious crash - one of the worst and most upsetting, in terms of the number of young victims, that had ever been attended by many of our police staff and other emergency services.

"In order to do justice to the victims and their whanau, their schools, the local community and transport users around New Zealand, it was absolutely critical that the investigation was thorough and robust."

Inspector Taylor said the investigation and crash analysis had found the logging truck driver caused the crash when he failed to manoeuvre around the school bus.

Those findings had been reviewed at a district level.

The man charged over the crash will appear in the Whakatane District Court on February 23.   His charges carry a potential sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

Add a Comment

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter