Originally written by KAREN SWEENEY
A HAMILTON teenager has been flown to Melbourne with serious head injuries after an accident involving a school bus on Thursday.
David Spring, 19, is in a serious condition in the Intensive Care Unit of the Royal Melbourne Hospital after his vehicle collided with a busload of students on their way to a school camp.
The accident happened about 10am on the Hamilton-Port Fairy Rd at Harman’s Valley, between Byaduk and Byaduk North.
Two bus loads of Monivae College year seven students had been looking forward to joining a group of their peers in Port Fairy for their orientation camp.
Instead they were forced to break a window and escape through the emergency exits, while quick thinking teachers shielded the car using blankets.
Principal Bernard Neal was travelling behind the buses to join students at the two-day camp.
He it was terrific to sees the way the staff were able to respond to the ‘very tricky situation’.
“And the bus driver, his control of that bus in extremely difficult circumstances to make sure that bus remained upright was just terrific; the emergency services at the site made the same comment,” he said.
“The way in which both he and the teachers on the bus involved maintained control of the situation was exemplary.
“Of course afterwards, once the responsibility of the immediate emergency passed, like all human beings they have reflected on what they’ve been through and have all been shaken up.”
Hamilton Traffic Management Unit Acting Sergeant Justin Ryan said it appeared as if Mr Spring, who had been driving in front of the bus, had pulled to the side of the road and attempted a U-turn.
“There wasn’t time for the bus to stop,” he said.
“The driver has done a fantastic job to veer to the right on the wrong side of the road.”
Act Sgt Ryan said had the driver swerved the other way the bus would have gone down into Harman’s Valley.
“We had 28 students plus teachers on the bus and none of them were injured … the actions of the driver contributed to that,” he said.
Grampians Ambulance group manager and Senior MICA (Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance) Officer Tony Oxford was on the scene and said five students had received treatment for ‘bumps and bruises’.
“Five were treated with minor injuries, and one was conveyed to the Hamilton hospital for follow-up treatment with the school nurse,” he said.
“The others were taken with one of our paramedics back to Monivae College where counsellors had been organised to talk to them.”
The camp has been postponed until later in the term.
Mr Spring’s older brother Damian is posting regular updates on Facebook, the latest saying, “it’s looking up for David but it’s not too bad but still not out of the woods yet”.