Mt Eden crash leaves one dead
A crash between a bus and car that left a man dead and a toddler fighting for his life in hospital may have been caused by a medical event.
Around 3.30pm on Tuesday, the route 277 bus was travelling north into Auckland’s CBD along a winding portion of Mt Eden Rd when it was involved in a crash with a car at the intersection with Bellevue Rd.
Auckland Tramways Union president Gary Froggatt said he understood the southbound car driver suffered a medical event before his car swerved across the median strip at speed into the oncoming bus.
However, Acting Sergeant Colin Nuttall from Waitemata Serious Crash Unit said on Wednesday it was ‘‘far too early to determine the cause of the crash and it will take some time before our investigation is completed’’.
He said the Serious Crash Unit was continuing its investigation into the crash.
The 51-year-old car driver died at the scene while two children in his car, a 3-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy, were rushed to Starship children’s hospital
Both the bus driver, and an accompanying learner bus driver who was onboard the bus were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Nuttall said on Wednesday morning the 1-year-old boy remained in critical condition while the girl was in a serious but stable condition.
Froggatt, who has been counselling the NZ Bus doubledecker driver, said on Wednesday the bus driver was ‘‘not coping very well’’.
Froggatt said NZ Bus had sent the ‘‘devastated’’ driver home to recuperate with family and get counselling.
‘‘He’s not coping very well at all, it’s something that sometimes doesn’t go away some people can cope with it well, others can’t’’.
Auckland Transport figures show the crash was the 166th in the space of four-and-a-half years along the 2.7km strip of Mt Eden Road.
Thirteen of the crashes were classed as serious and 60 crashes resulted in some form of injury.
The Normanby Rd intersection north of Tuesday’s crash was the site of most accidents, with crossing and turning mishaps, failure to give way and poor observation listed as significant contributing causes to crashes.
The Serious Crash Unit is continuing to investigate the crash on Mt Eden Rd.