Cause of bus crash un­der wraps

The New Zealand Herald - - NEWS - Bernard Ors­man

The re­sults of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a bus crash into the side of a build­ing in Devon­port on Saturday will not be made pub­lic, says Ritchies di­rec­tor Andrew Ritchie.

One per­son was in­jured af­ter a Ritchies bus ploughed into a block of flats on Vaux­hall Rd.

One of four pas­sen­gers on board at the time was taken to North Shore Hos­pi­tal with mi­nor in­juries.

Ritchie yes­ter­day said the fe­male driver was not in­jured but shaken up. She would have to be passed by a doc­tor be­fore re­turn­ing to work.

The com­pany had launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that would check for driver er­ror or me­chan­i­cal fail­ure, but would not be re­leas­ing the find­ings, he said.

“We won’t be mak­ing a state­ment. We will find out what went wrong and deal with it ap­pro­pri­ately. We don’t make a state­ment on every ac­ci­dent.”

The po­lice com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle safety team is also in­ves­ti­gat­ing the ac­ci­dent.

A po­lice spokes­woman said ini­tial in­quiries sug­gested the ac­ci­dent was pos­si­bly a sim­ple mishap.

On Saturday Ritchie said the bus was on a timetabled route. “It seems a bit of a strange one. We’ll get the ve­hi­cle back and have a look at it this af­ter­noon. We’ve got to treat it se­ri­ously, it could have been dis­as­trous.”

Ritchie said his main pri­or­ity was the safety of the peo­ple on board. He con­firmed the fe­male driver was okay and said some of the pas­sen­gers walked away from the crash.

The crash brought down pow­er­lines, Fire and Emer­gency NZ spokes­woman Me­gan Ruru said.

Ben Scan­lan, who lives across the street, was mak­ing break­fast went the crash hap­pened.

“It sounded like a big clap of thun­der,” he said. “The house shook.” Am­bu­lance ser­vices were on the scene within min­utes, he said.

Bar­bara Se­nior, who lived in the block of flats, felt the crash and went out­side to in­ves­ti­gate. She com­forted one pas­sen­ger and gave the per­son a drink of wa­ter.

“They wouldn’t come in­side out of the wind. There was a man in­jured and there were am­bu­lances but there were so many peo­ple of­fer­ing help I just came in be­cause there were so many peo­ple gaw­ping.”

Se­nior said the crash could have been far more se­ri­ous.

“It’s a very busy cor­ner on a Saturday morn­ing. No­body seems to know ex­actly what hap­pened. It’s quite a strange place to come down the bank and past the let­ter­boxes.”

Pic­ture / Brett Phibbs

A Ritchies bus lies crashed against units on Vaux­hall Rd, Devon­port.

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