Bus crash victims leave hospital

Bus crash survivors are Reid Thomson (right) and Clayton Rouse (left), both from Canada.
Bus crash survivors are Reid Thomson (right) and Clayton Rouse (left), both from Canada.

THE walking wounded, some on crutches, some heavily bandaged, left Rockhampton Hospital this morning after being treated for injuries sustained when a Greyhound Bus left the Bruce Highway north of Rockhampton at about 1.30am.

The driver and 28 passengers were taken to hospital after scrambling from the bus.

Passengers described how they had been thrown from their seats when the bus veered off the road into a ditch.

Canadian teenager Reid Thomson said he hit the roof of the bus which became airborne for a time before landing back on its wheels.

“People were screaming, there was a lot of people in pain,” said the 19-year-old who has been in Australia for four months and endured Cyclone Yasi.

Most passengers were asleep when the bus slammed into the ditch. The majority suffered bruising and shock.

The bus was travelling from Cairns to Brisbane and had reached Princhester, south of Marlborough, when it crashed. There were no other vehicles involved but some passengers said they thought the driver had swerved to avoid kanagroos.

Six ambulances from Rockhampton attended and an SES crew from Marlborough assisted police at the scene.

All the occupants of the bus were taken to hospital and early reports suggested one person had suffered a serious head injury. However hospital authorities said this morning that no-one had been admitted and all the patients were being discharged.

Greyhound Australia chief executive Robert Thomas said the incident had shocked everyone at the company and promised a thorough investigation.

The company provided buses this morning to allow the passengers, mostly young backpackers, to continue their journeys south after they had been interviewed by police.

The bus has been recovered and taken by police to Mackay for an inspection by accident investigators. A team of forensic crash experts from Rockhampton was at the crash site this morning.

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