ON THE evening of May 18, we were looking forward to a wonderful night out to Audi Palates of Port.
However from the moment we stepped on to the bus, I had reservations.
The arrangements for times and bus stops seemed to be very unorganised, but we laughed it off and said only in Port Douglas.
As we started driving from the last pick-up I mentioned the bus did not feel like there was any air in the tyres.
As we headed down Captain Cook Highway towards Mowbray, we then went onto unsealed road which was very rocky.
The bus driver pulled up and spoke to a man in the dark before turning off his lights and proceeding further along this very rocky dirt road.
With that there was a huge crunch and people started yelling.
The next thing there was another crunch and we were rolling down what we later realised was a huge culvert with large rocks.
The bus rolled on to its side - I will never forget the sound.
When we all realised what just happened survival mode set in.
We were lying with people on top of us, water pouring in, a strong fuel smell, glass windows broken, engine still roaring, and to top it off in pitch darkness.
With the help of the other passengers some escaped out to the top of the bus but we could not get down because of how high we were.
Below were all rocks, it was too scary to jump and by now we were concerned the bus might catch on fire.
This was a terrifying experience, one not to be taken lightly and brushed off.
Thankfully everyone was able to get out of the bus.
We would like to thank the few staff who were able to come to our assistance, as I believe the “show must go on". They were very limited as to what they could do.
Finally the sirens sounded with much relief as many passengers now were very shocked, with cuts, sore necks, sore heads, and later some poor people were transferred to Cairns with broken collarbones and ribs while others were taken to Mossman hospital.
We cannot thank all the wonderful emergency crews enough, they were absolutely amazing, and to the most fantastic little Mossman hospital and all the staff who were called back on duty to help us out.
If that had been a bus full of Canberra politicians, you would be given millions of dollars, of which you all deserve.
Some people may say I am old-fashioned and a prude but I have lived a varied life and was a publican and honestly have seen a lot of bad behaviour but this was demeaning to females and by a female, which is even worse.
Maybe we need new organisers and a whole new approach to our gorgeous Carnivale.