In­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues into maxi-taxi ac­ci­dent

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

IN­VES­TI­GA­TIONS are con­tin­u­ing into a sin­gle-ve­hi­cle traf­fic ac­ci­dent in the early hours of the morn­ing on Au­gust 28.

At 4.10am a maxi-taxi car­ry­ing six pas­sen­gers ran off the Shute Har­bour Road at Mt Ju­lian near the Con­way Road in­ter­sec­tion.

Since the ac­ci­dent, Thomas Dunne, pro­pri­etor of O’Duinn’s Ir­ish Pub in Proser­pine, where the in­jured pas­sen­gers ei­ther worked or were stay­ing, has ex­pressed con­cerns about a num­ber of fac­tors sur­round­ing the in­ci­dent, in­clud­ing the ques­tion of fa­tigue.

Mr Dunne was at home when pas­sen­gers of the maxi-taxi were brought back by re­place­ment cabs. He said it was his daugh­ter Meghan who had to call an am­bu­lance to trans­port the ho­tel’s 29-year-old chef Kevin Martin to Proser­pine Hos­pi­tal.

Mr Dunne says his chef, an Ir­ish national, is em­ployed by the ho­tel on a 457 visa.

“We’re re­spon­si­ble for him,” he said.

He said that un­der the cir­cum­stances, Mr Martin, who was re­leased from hos­pi­tal later that day with a neck brace, should have been taken there im­me­di­ately by am­bu­lance and he ques­tioned whether it was an of­fence to trans­port in­jured peo­ple away from the scene of a crash.

Of­fi­cer in charge of the Proser­pine Po­lice Sta­tion Nathan Blain said fail­ure to re­port a traf­fic crash was an of­fence but that did not hap­pen in this case. “Po­lice did at­tend the scene and the driver was still there,” he said.

“[How­ever] Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing if fa­tigue was a con­tribut­ing fac­tor.”

Gen­eral man­ager of Mackay/Whit­sun­day Taxis Gary But­ton con­firmed his com­pany was part of the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“But at this point in time, I can un­equiv­o­cally say the driver was well within the per­mit­ted hours to drive, but it’s still an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” he said.

IN­JURED: Kevin Martin was in­jured when a maxi-taxi drove off the road near Mt Ju­lian in the early hours of the morn­ing on Au­gust 28.

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