Investigation continues into maxi-taxi accident
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.