Bus crash leaves driver traumatised

Five people injured in a Queenstown skifield road bus crash have been discharged from hospital.

However, the cause of the crash remained unclear yesterday.

The Go Orange bus, carrying 28 passengers, crashed into a ditch on The Remarkables skifield access road about 5pm on Saturday.

Four people were taken to Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital, and a 34-year-old Australian woman was flown to Dunedin Hospital with a suspected dislocated hip.

Go Orange’s head of operations Tim Barke said the woman was discharged from Dunedin Hospital yesterday morning and those taken to Lakes District Hospital were discharged on Saturday night.He was not sure of their injuries or nationalities.

The company, a subsidiary of tourism giant Real Journeys, set up accounts at a Queenstown medical centre and a taxi company so bus passengers could be medically checked.

Queenstown tourism company Go Orange said weather conditions prevented the recovery of the bus...
Queenstown tourism company Go Orange said weather conditions prevented the recovery of the bus yesterday. Photos: David Williams.
"I believe there’s been about five who have gone in there today [Sunday] and been checked out," Mr Barke said.

The driver, who was "fairly traumatised" by the crash, had been told to take the week off, he said.

"It’s a pretty frightening experience for him," Mr Barke said.

"One of the customers just dropped in a wee present and a card for him today.

"The feedback we’ve had from the customers has been really positive towards him."

Sergeant Keith Newell, of Queenstown, said the police commercial vehicle safety team were investigating and a specialist mechanic would inspect the bus.

Most people on the bus were from Australia, he said.

Mr Barke said the company had launched an internal review.

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