Crash sur­vivor tells of wak­ing to news of his friend’s death

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Car­ruthers

IT was a nor­mal Tues­day when Matthew Ed­wards (pic­tured) and Casey Stin­son boarded a Whit­sun­day Tran­sit bus bound for Proser­pine.

One of them never made it and the other ar­rived in an am­bu­lance.

At Brandy Creek the bus veered off the road and rolled down an em­bank­ment – the friends were among 13 peo­ple aboard the bus.

Matthew said he re­mem- bered that “some­thing went wrong with the bus”.

“The next thing I know ev­ery­thing went black and I woke up in hos­pi­tal,” he said.

On re­gain­ing con­scious­ness Matthew was told his mate, Casey, had not made it.

It has been four weeks since the crash and Matthew is out of hos­pi­tal and back at home in Proser­pine.

IMAG­INE wak­ing af­ter a high-speed bus crash to the news the mate you got on the bus with was dead.

That’s ex­actly what hap­pened to crash sur­vivor Matthew Ed­wards.

Matt was on the ill-fated Whit­sun­day Tran­sit bus that left Air­lie Beach for Proser­pine on Tues­day af­ter­noon three weeks ago.

He got on the bus with his mate, Casey.

“I was sit­ting right up the back seat and he was sit­ting two seats in front of me,” he said.

“Some­thing went wrong with the bus, there was a quick jar… the next minute we are all get­ting chucked around.

“Ev­ery­thing just went black and I woke up in hos­pi­tal.”

He woke to the news of Casey’s death.

“They didn’t want to tell me straight away be­cause of my head in­jury. They didn’t want me to freak out.”

Matt said he felt lucky to be alive.

Al­though the cuts on his left el­bow, shoul­der and knee are heal­ing well, there is still con­cern about the head in­jury.

“I had to have ther­apy and physio. The ther­apy was easy be­cause they thought I lost my mem­ory (but)… my mem­ory is pretty good, noth­ing has changed,” he said.

How­ever, there will be no footy for Matt for some time.

Two weeks ago a group of in­dige­nous lads played in Matthew’s hon­our at a fundrais­ing touch footy match against the lo­cal po­lice.

“It’s great that they did that and I thank them a lot,” he said.

On Mon­day, Matthew even had the Nike shoes he was wear­ing in the crash re­placed by Ben Mal­ady, of Whit­sun­day Tran­sit.

Matthew’s step­mother Lor­raine Durre said the gen­eros­ity “re­stores your faith in hu­man kind­ness”.

HOR­RIFIC SCENE: Emer­gency ser­vices on the scene of the bus roll over on Shute Har­bour Road. Photo: Peter Car­ruthers IN­SET: Matthew Ed­wards

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