Hunter Valley bus crash: Investigators at the scene of a bus crash near Greta in the NSW Hunter Valley (Source: ABC)
A lovely wedding resulted in a heartbreaking loss. The fatal bus accident in New South Wales has elevated to one of the worst in recent history.
After a bus carrying 35 passengers crashed near the settlement of Greta, west of Maitland, leaving 10 people dead and more than 20 injured, a massive medical operation was carried out in the dark late last night.
Following this tragedy, police identified the driver named Brett Button. Here’s what we know everything about the crash and driver Brett Button.
Hunter Valley bus crash
At least 10 wedding guests were killed in a horrific bus crash in NSW’s Hunter Valley, and the circumstances of the accident are still being pieced together by forensic and traffic police.
Investigators searched the scene this morning after the bus, traveling to Singleton at the time of the accident, flipped at a roundabout last night at 11:30 p.m.
On Monday, it was fixed shortly after 2 p.m. 10 deaths had been confirmed, according to acting assistant commissioner Tracy Chapman, but more were “possible”.
She stated that 25 persons, with “various injuries,” were sent to hospitals. Police have not yet determined whether any further remains are still trapped.
Who is driver Brett Button?
Multiple charges of hazardous driving have been brought against the bus driver who crashed the bus on Sunday night in the Hunter Valley, killing 10 passengers and injuring dozens more.
In the late hours of Monday, Australian Police charged Brett Andrew Button, 58, with 10 counts of reckless driving resulting in death and one case of negligent driving resulting in death.
After the collision, Button, of Maitland, was taken into custody. On Tuesday, he will appear before Cessnock Local Court.
After hearing allegations that a coach had overturned, emergency services were dispatched just after 11.30 p.m. on Sunday to the roundabout on Wine Country Drive close to the Hunter Motorway exit at Greta.
Why was Brett Button charged?
Acting Assistant Commissioner Tracy Chapman of the NSW Police announced 10 fatalities and 25 hospitalizations. The 58-year-old bus driver is currently at Cessnock Police Station.
The bus has 57 seats. According to police sources quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald, the bus driver was not drunk and did not test positive for being over the legal blood alcohol limit after the fatal collision.
However, a source who was not authorized to speak in public stated that police believe the man was driving recklessly before the collision.
Police from the Crash Investigation Unit and forensic experts are investigating a crime scene that was established. The bus driver was brought to the hospital under police protection for required tests and evaluation.
He was subsequently taken to Cessnock Police Station and charged in connection with the incident there. He was denied bail and told to attend local court in Cessnock tomorrow.
Where did the accident take place?
When the bus entered the Hunter Motorway at a roundabout on Wine Country Drive near Greta, about 50 kilometers northwest of Newcastle, it toppled.
According to the police, the travelers were headed to Singleton after attending a wedding at Wandin Estate near Lovedale, in Hunter’s well-known winery region.
About the victims
The majority of the murdered victims were recognized on Monday night by The Daily Telegraph; NSW Police has alerted their families; however, the official identification procedure may take weeks.
The victims are Zachary Bray from Byron Bay, Angus Craig from Queensland, Andrew and Lynan Scott, a husband and wife from Singleton, Darcy Bullman, Tori Cowburn, and Rebecca Mullen.
Members of Mr. Gaffney’s AFL team and the married couple’s MC Alex Tignani are said to be among those hurt at John Hunter Hospital.
Nine wounded visitors were Warrandyte Cricket Club members in Victoria, and club president Royce Jaksic told Nine media that they had suffered “some minor injuries, like a broken jaw or a broken collarbone.” It is the seventh-deadliest road accident in Australia’s history, and the worst since 1994.
What was the crash’s cause?
Acting Assistant Commissioner Chapman did not provide particular information regarding what might have contributed to the occurrence because investigations into it are still in their early stages.
She said it was “far too early” to say whether or not speed may have been a contributing issue. At the time of the single-vehicle accident, there was a lot of fog in the area.
Last night, the bus driver was taken to the hospital for a required test; he is now facing charges. He will appear in court tomorrow after his bail request was denied.
AFL NSW/ACT statement,
“We send our deepest condolences to all those affected in the accident, including those in the Singleton Roosters family and our Hunter Central Coast community,” AFL NSW/ACT wrote in a statement.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Chapman said,
“Our investigation and information at this stage indicate that it is a single-vehicle collision but obviously as we work through that scene and obtain any other information that’s available from witnesses or from what the scene presents, then we will look at all avenues”.
Wandin Estate’s management statement
In a statement, Wandin Estate’s management said they were “deeply saddened” by the event and that the venue would be closed on Monday.
Linq Buslines’s statement
In a statement, the involved bus company, Linq Buslines, expressed its “incredibly saddened” over the accident. It read, “Our hearts are with everyone affected by this tragedy.” “We are assisting the authorities and NSW Police with their investigation. While the inquiry is ongoing, more remarks would be inappropriate.
Police Alert: Calls for information
Anyone with knowledge regarding who was on the bus or the accident itself is asked by police to come forward. It was a “very confronting” scene for first responders. And it was a devastating incident for the neighborhood, according to acting assistant Commissioner Chapman.
You couldn’t count the number of family members as well as the larger community that this will affect. “From a policing perspective, our role is to make sure that we conduct a full and thorough investigation to ensure that, after that investigation and that process, some comfort may be given to those family members and the public.”
Call Cessnock police at 02 4991 0199 if you are a member of the person’s family or friends who may have been on the bus. Moreover, anyone who witnessed the collision or has information about its circumstances should get in touch with Crime Stoppers.
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Lavanya (Senior Editor) is a full-time content writer with almost 5 years of experience and a part-time teacher. She joined Medico Topics on the Breaking News trainee scheme in 2022 and now works on MedicoTopics.com. As a lifelong learner, She is constantly curious about learning new things and passionate about sharing knowledge with people through her writing and teaching.