A public transport accident in the far northeast of the state saw two school buses collide, shaking up the 28 students on board and resulting in a number receiving medical attention.
Reports indicate that the people-movers were en route to their respective schools at around 08:30 on March 28 when the crash occurred near the corners of River Street and Taloumbi Street in the township of Maclean.
It appears that one on the buses collided with the rear of the other during a period of heavy rain, smashing its windshield and crumpling its bumper – while the other vehicle suffered extensive damage to its radiator and engine block.
Both of the transporters were found to be unfit for driving at the scene and required specialist towing crews to remove them from the site.
Police investigating the incident say that they are looking into the events immediately preceding the impact.
Sergeant Darren Williams from the Yamba LAC told the Northern Star on March 29: "Two … buses were travelling in a northerly direction on River St in Maclean and when they have reached the intersection of Taloumbi St, for an unknown reason one of the buses has collided with the rear of the other bus."
Thankfully the crash did not occur at great speed and many of the 28 children on board were able to walk away from the scene unharmed.
However a number of primary school students did receive minor injuries and required medical attention, with paramedics treating seven children at the scene.
An eighth student was taken to the nearby Maclean Hospital after it was found that she may have suffered injuries to her spine during the collision.
Sergeant Williams explained: "There was a seat in the back of the bus and when they hit it has caused the chassis to flex a little bit and we figured out the seat had actually collapsed onto her."
The accident has seen a number of calls to the state government to take action and require that seatbelts be installed on some school buses – specifically those that travel on roads where the speed limit is 80 km per hour and higher.
This has been highlighted specifically with some of the older buses in use around the state that have low-backed seats – adding to the potential for spinal complications.
While back injury compensation can help to provide medical treatments and rehabilitate care to bus crash victims, it would be better for all concerned if these injuries were less common.