Some parents were reunited with their children early this morning after a school bus crash in Eynesbury yesterday left students with severe injuries, including a complete limb amputation.
The crash took place around 3.45pm yesterday, when a truck allegedly hit the bus from behind, causing it to be overturned.
Bernadette McDonald, chief executive at the Royal Children’s hospital, told reporters this morning that the children had suffered traumatic injuries, with three patients receiving spinal support.
“The children have suffered multiple and traumatic injuries including partial and complete amputations of arms, multiple crushed limb injuries, severe lacerations to head and body, head injuries and glass shard injuries,” she said.
“Three patients are currently receiving spinal support and being monitored, carefully, in terms of spinal injuries.”
The bus had 45 students from Exford Primary School on board, and nine children aged between five and 11-years-old were admitted to the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Seven children remain in hospital, with one in the intensive care unit. Four surgeries took place overnight with others scheduled for today, and the hospital said that many children will need long-term rehabilitation after the crash.
Three students are in stable condition at Sunshine Hospital, and one person remains at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
The bus driver suffered minor injuries, and the driver of the truck is in police custody.
Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Lineham from the Major Collision Investigation Unit said that the 49-year-old male truck driver will likely face charges of dangerous driving, and told 3AW he anticipates charges will be laid today.
The incident didn’t involve any fatalities, to McDonald’s surprise.
“I am extremely surprised [there were no fatalities],” she said.
“I would never say they were lucky, we have to acknowledge that.”
She added that the incident is traumatic for everyone involved, and that the hospital is working to provide support for those affected.
“The parents are obviously traumatised. They had to wait until the early hours of the morning to be reunited with their children,” she said.
“We’re working extremely hard to provide that trauma support and care that they will need, not just now but in the coming weeks and months.”
Victoria’s Education Minister Natalie Hutchins said that counsellors will also attend the school, and offered her support to those affected in the tragedy.
“Our thoughts are with the students, their families and the staff who were involved in yesterday’s collision, especially those students who were injured and the families this tragedy has touched,” she said.
“We acknowledge the response from the principal and staff at Exford Primary School, who all attended the scene and ensured every child involved was supported and looked after.
“During this difficult time, we request that the community respect the privacy of the school community and all those affected within it.”
PHOTO: “Ambulance Victoria” by Ed Dunens available HERE and used under a Creative Commons License. This photo has not been modified.