Semi collides with school bus
WHEN a Rockhampton motorist waved happily to primary school students aboard a bus yesterday, he had no idea he would be rushing to their aid minutes later.
The driver, who wished to remain anonymous, was shocked when a semi-trailer slammed into the bus, pushing it into a taxi which then careered into the back of his car.
The smash happened at about noon on Gladstone Road, near Allenstown State School.
“I knew the bus was full of kids, so we all just rushed straight to them,” the man said.
“We got them all out of the bus and sitting down on the side of the road and then the ambulance came and took over.”
Seven ambulances and two fire crews were on scene to attend to the 38 people involved in the crash.
Twenty-three of them, including 21 children, were taken to Rockhampton Hospital – the majority as a precaution for suspected spinal injuries; however all were released by 3.30pm yesterday.
More than 30 students from Waraburra State Primary School were on board the bus at the time.
Inbound traffic on Gladstone Road was diverted around the scene until about 2.15pm.
The driver, who was lucky enough to receive minimal damage to his car, said he believed some of the drivers had been distracted by a four-wheel-drive that had just turned onto the highway and was allegedly carrying a large box that was hanging out the open rear door.
Police yesterday said the cause of the accident had not yet been established and investigations were continuing.
As parents picked their children up from the Gracemere school yesterday afternoon they were shocked to hear of the news.
Lloyd Brown and Lindsay Clarke, who were there to pick up Lindsay’s six-year-old, were glad to hear no-one had been hurt.
“I drove past the scene earlier today,” Lloyd said.
“Now we’ve heard there were kids on the bus, I hope they’re all okay.”
Lindsay said although their family didn’t live in Gracemere, she thought the community would rally to support families involved.
“The kids will be pretty shook up. I don’t know if they’ll ever want to ride a bus again,” she said.