Police at the scene of the fatal accident at the Humpty Doo Hotel in 2017. (ABC News: Jacqueline Breen)
The Northern Territory’s largest bus operator is facing a litany of charges over the death of a worker who died after falling into the path of her own tour bus.
- The 59-year-old employee was killed after she tried to stop her tour bus from rolling forward
- An NT Worksafe investigation has found there had been numerous complaints in the bus industry about “bus rollaway” issues
- Buslink NT is facing six charges, each carrying a maximum penalty of $1,500,000
Buslink NT is facing millions in penalties over the incident, which occurred outside a pub in Darwin’s rural area on October 26, 2017.
Just moments after passengers entered the Humpty Doo Hotel, the bus driver was fatally injured.
The 59-year-old employee was taking cruise ship passengers on a day trip when, during a scheduled lunch break, the bus began to roll forward.
The woman went back to the bus and tried to open the door to stop the vehicle, when she fell into its path.
She was found by a member of her tour group.
Paramedics were called but the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
A statement from NT WorkSafe said their investigation found that Buslink NT had failed to implement adequate control measures, despite numerous other safety reports within the industry regarding the issue.
Pat Needham was working as a tour guide when the bus driver she was working with was fatally injured. (ABC News)
Tour guide Pat Needham said the incident had been traumatic for all the passengers present on the day.
“I called them all together in the bar and explained to them tactfully what had happened,” she said.
“And prayed, we all prayed for her.”
Ms Needham said they had noticed that the door was “sticking a bit” earlier that day.
It has been alleged that Buslink NT failed in their health and safety duties and also placed passengers and pedestrians at risk.
The company has been issued with six charges, with each charge carrying a maximum penalty of $1,500,000.
The matter will be heard in the Darwin Local Court on November 19, 2019.
The people on the tour were traumatised by the incident, according to another guide. (ABC News: Jacqueline Breen)