Hamo’s CEO accepts buggy crash findings
HAMILTON Island CEO Glenn Bourke has agreed with the police findings into the cause of a golf buggy crash in March, that left a woman and her baby in a critical state and five others injured.
The Queensland Police investigation concluded last Thursday with the Forensic Crash Unit saying brake system failure was to blame.
“I’m sure the findings are accurate,” Mr Bourke said.
“We worked closely with police as we always do.”
Mr Bourke said their own investigation into the cause of the accident had come to the same conclusions.
The March 10 incident involved eight passengers, including a toddler and two infants, and resulted in a man and woman being airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital. A baby girl suffered serious head injuries and was airlifted to Townsville Base Hospital with her mother, who suffered minor injuries.
At the time police issued infringements to the 22-year-old driver for carrying more passengers than permitted and the owner of the buggy for permitting the use of a vehicle with unsafe equipment.
Mr Bourke stressed that the buggy was not run by Hamilton Island Enterprises and was actually run by an independent contractor.
He said they would wait until all legal processes were finalised before considering what action to take against the business responsible for the buggy.
“We have to make a determination (but) we will wait for police to take action,” he said.
“We need to see what the course of the legal action is and what findings are and then once the courts have determined that then we’ll act accordingly.”
As far as enforcing passenger limits for buggies, Mr Bourke said it was a matter for police. “We don’t govern the roads (but) we do tend to assist people in making smart decisions,” he said.
“Police are the governing body for the road (and) they have a presence on the island.”
Mr Bourke said anyone operating on Hamilton Island roads also had to be registered with the island.
“If someone arrives and they want to drive they need to be approved by us,” he said.
He also said the island’s buggies went through regular maintenance in accordance with their registration body.
Since the crash, Hamilton Island has implemented new safety restrictions for buggies including the addition of seatbelts and roll bars.
Mr Bourke said they had also stopped the use of tow trailers on buggies, removed the six seater versions, which he described as “problematic” and that petrol-run buggies were being phased out and the island was switching over to electric buggies.
AFTERMATH: The scene of the buggy crash on Hamilton Island on Thursday, March 10.