Praise for bus driver at Indian Ocean collision

Geraldton Guardian
Emergency crews at the scene of the crash between a bus and a car on Indian Ocean Drive.
Camera IconEmergency crews at the scene of the crash between a bus and a car on Indian Ocean Drive. Credit: 7NEWS

The bus driver involved in the recent Indian Ocean Drive double fatality has been praised for keeping the vehicle from flipping after it was hit by a Nissan X-Trail at the Pinnacles turn-off.

The crash, caused by the car pulling in front of the bus and colliding with its front, left one person dead at the scene and another later died in hospital after succumbing to injuries.

A third passenger was last week in a stable condition in the Royal Perth Hospital State Trauma Unit, while passengers on the TransWA bus sustained minor injuries.

Geraldton pharmacy assistant Layla Forsyth, who was travelling to Joondalup on the bus at the time, said the driver did a great job directing the bus after the impact, meaning passengers came to a reasonably “clean” stop.

“It was a clean sort of swerve or manoeuvre from the driver; he handled it quite well,” the 23-year-old said.

Ms Forsyth said her eyes were closed and she was listening to music when she felt “the impact” about 15 seats away from where the car hit.

“It was a pretty nasty view from my window of the car ... the wreckage,” she said. Ms Forsyth said passengers tried to open the door to exit the bus but it had been jammed from the collision.

Another passenger broke the fire-exit glass and a small group left the bus, while others — including elderly people — were not comfortable with the drop it took to reach the ground and remained seated.

Ms Forsyth said motorists had pulled over and were surrounding the wreckage to try and help the people trapped in the X-Trail.

Shortly after, first responders used a ladder to rescue people from the bus, brought chairs for the elderly to sit on, put down tarpaulin for more able-bodied passengers and set up tents for shelter.

Survivors were physically checked and waited about two hours for another bus to arrive and take passengers to Perth.

Ms Forsyth said she was thankful and grateful to have escaped injury in the crash and urged people to be vigilant and aware while driving.

A TransWA spokesperson said the bus driver did not wish to be identified, but he and the bus passengers had been offered counselling.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails