Horror bus crash driver named

The driver of a bus and trailer that crashed with 23 Chinese tourists on board near Queenstown in January is expected to be sentenced on June 2.

He can now be named as Liang Fang (32), of Christchurch, after his application for interim name suppression was refused by Judge Bernadette Farnan in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.

Fang admitted charges of careless driving causing injury to Leyao Dong, Qin He, Jun Yang and Yixin Cai, on January 21 at Wilson Bay on the Glenorchy-Queenstown road.

A charge of dangerous driving causing injury was withdrawn.

Judge Farnan turned down two in-court media applications to photograph the defendant for reasons she suppressed.

The bus and trailer, operated by Awing Travel NZ Ltd, tipped on to its side and skidded for a considerable distance after Fang lost control on a downhill bend about 7km southwest of the resort.

Two of the passengers, a girl who lost both hands and a woman who lost an arm, were flown to hospital in a serious condition.

Another 18 passengers suffered minor to moderate injuries.

Fang’s lawyer, Kirsty Allan, said she intended to apply for a discharge without conviction at sentencing.

The defendant is likely to appear at his sentencing by audiovisual link from Christchurch.


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