Police investigate school bus crash on Range Road

Police are investigating the circumstances of a district crash involving a bus and a ute last week that has reportedly left school children traumatised.

SITE: Range Road

SITE: Range Road

The crash on Range Road on Monday, March 6 has left some school children who were on the bus shaken, with counselling being offered to them by a local high school. 

Hume Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Chad Gillies confirmed the two-vehicle crash occurred on March 6 at 3.55pm as the vehicles were travelling east on Range Road.

He said police attended the scene and reported a school bus and a ute had impacted while travelling through a dip in the road near Rossi Bridge, causing the ute to roll off the side of the road. 

Detective Inspector Gillies initially said police were not investigating as it met the ‘minor traffic accident’ threshold.

This meant no one had been injured and drivers of both vehicles had exchanged details.

He said a defect notice was issued to the bus driver only due to the damage sustained in the crash. Both drivers were breath-tested and returned negative results.

But Detective Inspector Gillies said soon after that police would investigate, despite it being a minor traffic accident.

“It is subject to investigation because of some issues with the road and the nature of the circumstances of the school bus’s collision with the utility,” he said.

Police, in consultation with Goulburn Mulwaree Council, had initiated double line marking on the stretch of road where the accident occurred. Detective Inspector Gillies said police were not happy with the road’s former marking.

Now they intend to speak to both drivers in more detail to decide what, if any, action should be taken.

They will also interview witnesses and are appealing to any others with information to come forward.

The Goulburn Fire Brigade also attended the scene along with an ambulance. 

Goulburn Fire Brigade station master Darryl Law said no one was injured in the crash. 

“There were children on the bus, but no one was taken to hospital,” Mr Law said.

The Goulburn Fire Brigade observed the damage to the bus. 

“The front light of the bus was damaged as well as the doors,” Mr Law said.

“When we arrived, children were able to get off the bus themselves, but we assisted them further to ensure they did not get cut by the broken glass. There was a spill of coolant on the road.”

A parent of one of the children on the bus, who wished to remain anonymous, said it was “a scene that no parent ever wanted to turn up to”.

The damaged ute. Photo supplied.

The damaged ute. Photo supplied.

“When I arrived at the scene, it was a picture you never want to see, if you have children on a bus,” the woman said.

“The fire brigade was there with flashing lights; so were ambulance and police.

“Some older children were walking around on the road. Behind the bus in the bushes was a smashed up ute. The front window of the bus was shattered; so was the door.” 

She said some children were still in inside the bus when she turned up.  

“I then helped lift some of the hysterical young children out of the crushed door,” she said.

“It must have been very traumatic for these little ones, who were sitting right in the front seats of the bus when all the glass hailed onto them. It is very lucky indeed that no one was seriously injured.

“The only school that acted promptly was Trinity Catholic College, by offering their students counselling.” 

Another parent who arrived at the scene said children were shaken by the crash. “Kids walking around were hysterical,” the parent said. 

The Goulburn Post attempted to gain comment from both drivers without success.

The scene at the roadside. Photo supplied.

The scene at the roadside. Photo supplied.