Queenstown bus driver faces seven charges


A BUS driver faces seven charges of dangerous driving causing injury after a passenger bus slammed into a tree in October.

The driver, due to appear in Queenstown District Court on January 27, has yet to enter a plea.

The charges relate to a crash near the historic Edith Cavell Bridge at Arthurs Point at about noon on Saturday, October 26.

A Queenstown passenger bus – operated by local transport firm Connectabus – skidded on a wet road and smashed into a tree. About 25 people were on the 36-seater bus.

Huge skid marks marked the road after the crash – stretching about 40 metres from the brow of the hill on the Queenstown side down to the bus.

Constable Terry Wood said at the time, the bus had bounced off a curb and the driver, seeing little other option, had aimed for the tree before the drop down to the Shotover River.

Wood said the driver has driven the route for three-and-a-half years.

Connectabus boss Ewen McCammon declined to comment on the charges saying: “It’s before the court so I’ve got no comment to make.”

Stupid’ drinker conned
An Arrowtown man says $1200 was stolen from his account after he gave his cash card and PIN number to a stranger in a bar.

“It beggars belief that anybody could be so stupid,” senior constable Chris Blackford says. “He’s given his eftpos card and PIN number to a stranger in a bar. He thought the stranger was going to get some more drinks. Instead he left the premises and withdrew $1200 from his account.” 

The victim was drinking in Queenstown’s Boiler Room bar over the weekend and later reported the theft to police at the station on Sunday morning.

Hospital after bad crashes
An Irishman suffered a fractured skull and had to be cut out of a car after a crash in Queenstown.

Police were called to Hensman Road, near its junction with Martys Lane, at 10.49pm on Sunday.

The Irishman, now in hospital, was a passenger in a car driven by his brother, 26, which crashed into a taxi.

“It’s alleged the 26-year-old, who lives in Sydney, failed to take a left-hand bend and crashed into a taxi coming the other way.” 

The brother, no age given, had to be cut out of the vehicle. The taxi driver suffered broken ribs. Police took a blood sample from the 26-year-old.

No charges have been laid as yet.

Last Thursday, a 65-year-old Queenstown biker was injured after crashing his Harley-Davidson on a corner near Littles Rd.

The rider was flown to Southland Hospital after the crash at 8.35pm.

Blackford says the man’s pillion passenger was also injured but the extent of injuries to both is unknown.

Not very chipper
Police say inquiries are continuing after two bouncers were allegedly assaulted outside Queenstown bar 1876 on Friday night.

The doormen had asked a group of four men to leave the premises, at around 10.15pm.

Two of the group took exception and began fighting. Police are studying CCTV footage and hope to make arrests.

An English woman, 27, was arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour at 10.15pm the next night.

“It’s alleged she’d had a verbal altercation with staff at Betty’s Liquor on Camp St and threw chips at them.” 

The woman was followed by staff and arrested at Winnies on The Mall.

Police arrested a West Coast man, 34, after an altercation at Frankton Motor Camp at 6.40pm on Sunday. 

Another man had received a bloody nose. The West Coast man has been charged with assault.