NSW bus crash: 10 dead, 20 injured after wedding party tragedy

A bus crash in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, has left 10 people dead and at least 20 injured, as the driver, Brett Andrew Button, 58, allegedly drove too fast in foggy conditions. The passengers were returning from a wedding on Sunday when the accident occurred near the town of Greta. Many of the victims were members of local rural sporting clubs. Button has been charged with multiple counts of dangerous driving and negligence, and was arrested on Monday.

According to NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Button was driving “in a manner that was inconsistent with the conditions.” Acting Assistant Commissioner David Waddell added, “He lost control of that vehicle… obviously the speed was too quick for him to negotiate that roundabout.” Fourteen of the injured passengers remain in hospital, two in critical condition.

Although the victims have not been formally identified, Singleton Mayor Sue Moore confirmed that many lived in the small town. She stated, “I know we’ll never get over it.” Some local families have been supporting injured loved ones in hospitals in Newcastle and Sydney, while others are planning funerals amidst the shock of the tragedy.

Rebecca Mullen, a junior doctor, was among those killed, as confirmed by NSW Health Minister Ryan Park. He stated, “This has made a very dark day even darker for NSW Health.” Kane Symons, a Tasmanian man, also lost his life in the crash, as confirmed by his former surf club on social media. The Carlton Park Surf Lifesaving Club posted on behalf of his family, describing him as “an amazing athlete… a great bloke and a mate to many.”

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Pop-up mental health clinics have been established in Singleton and nearby Cessnock to support the local community. Mayor Sue Moore also mentioned that discussions are underway to fundraise for the victims’ families. Button, a Hunter Valley local, is said to be suffering along with the victims’ relatives, as stated by Magistrate Robyn Richardson when granting him bail.

Cessnock Local Court heard that Button had committed seven driving offences over the past 30 years but did not have a criminal record. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese commented on the “horrific tragedy,” stating that it had deeply affected the country, as people “associate weddings with love and… celebrations.”

Forensics officers continue to work at the crash site, which remains “an active crime scene,” according to police. The Hunter Valley in NSW, known for its vineyards and native bushland, is a popular destination for wine lovers and group outings or celebrations.

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Lilly Larkin

Lilly is a writer with a diverse international background, having lived in various countries including Thailand. Her unique experiences provide valuable insights and culturally sensitive perspectives in her news reporting. When not writing, Lilly enjoys exploring local art scenes, volunteering for community projects, and connecting with people from different cultures.

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