Bus accident victim Justin Blanch, left, rescuer Brooke Newman, Justin?s mother Kay, and Carol Favell.
Bus accident victim Justin Blanch, left, rescuer Brooke Newman, Justin?s mother Kay, and Carol Favell.

Brush with a bus

By JULIA ILES

THE mother of a young Grafton boy involved in a collision with a bus last week thinks the driver should have done more to check her child was not seriously hurt.

Kay Blanch told The Daily Examiner she felt the driver should have shown more of a duty of care by remaining at the accident site or called an ambulance.

Carol Favell, who cared for seven-year-old Justin Blanch after the incident, agreed and would like bus drivers to demonstrate more responsibility.

According to Ms Blanch, Justin was in Oliver Street and walking to school at 8.15am last Monday when he and a bus collided.

He was hit on the hip and leg, and fell back onto his backpack, breaking his plastic drink bottle and lunchbox.

Busways spokesperson Robert Henderson said the company had a duty of care if anyone appeared to be injured, which included looking after that person's interests.

He said it was his understanding that the child ran onto the road directly in front of the oncoming vehicle.

But what most concerned Ms Blanch was that Justin was left in the care of his two eight-yearold companions, Brooke Newman and Willow Cansdell, who took him to the home of Brooke's mother, Carol Favell.

According to Ms Blanch, the driver got out of the bus after the incident, asked the child's first name, told him to go home to his mother and to call the bus company, she said.

She said the driver then continued on his route, choosing not to remain at the scene or to call an ambulance.

Ms Favell laid Justin on a bed and tracked down his mother at work, sending the other children back to school so she could properly care for Justin.

After being contacted, Ms Blanch rushed her hysterical son to the Grafton Base Hospital where his condition was monitored for three to four hours. Fortunately no serious injuries were sustained, only bruising and sore muscles.

"I am disgusted that Justin was left in the care of two eight-yearold children," she said.

"The message it gives me is that the driver didn't want to take responsibility.

"In every workplace there is a process which must be followed when accidents occur, but here is a situation where nothing like that was done.

"What if Justin had a serious injury that meant he shouldn't have been moved?

"I just feel sorry for him (the driver). Whether or not it was Justin's fault, running out on the road, he had a duty of care to stay at the scene after the accident," she said.

The incident was mentioned to the police, Ministry of Transport, Minister for Transport and, according to Busways, the offices are satisfied with the report. The children have been offered counselling through the school and the bus company.

No charges have been laid.



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