Concerned mother wants action

Afterwaiting 25 minutes longer than usual for the regular school bus drop, a Scone mother was absolutely shocked to learn the reason had been her worst nightmare.
Nanjing Night Net

There had been “a slight accident”, and although it wasn’t life threatening, her children had been affected by the incident.

Angela Balneaves’ two children, her nine-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter have been catching the Middlebrook bus to and from their home to their school, Scone Public School, for the past six weeks.

The service had been fine and the children happy, however since knocking her teeth out and causing severe injury to her nose area, Ms Balneaves’ daughter is now very cautious of the bus trip and her mother is keen to see all buses installed with seat belts.

Ms Balneaves alleges the incident occurred on the afternoon run – the bus had passed through the traffic lights traversing Kelly Street, on Liverpool Street, when the driver was required to stop quickly causing a sharp brake.

She says the result was children being thrown from their seats and sustaining injury.

Accidents happen, and it is fortunate no one was more seriously injured, however it is the aftermath of the incident and the response Ms Balneaves has received from the bus company that she is frustrated and horrified about.

The two main concerns the distressed mother has are the lack of treatment at the time of the incident and the response from the local bus company, Osborn’s, in regards to the lack of first aid procedures and the duty of care, as well as the need of seat belts on buses.

“When I saw my daughter that afternoon her face was covered in dry blood and she was holding a rough piece of paper, the same paper the drivers clean the windscreens with, over her face,” Ms Balneaves said.

“My son had hit his head above his eye and bashed his thigh badly on the metal part of the seat in front of him.

“My daughter was thrown down the aisle, at least three seats from hers, face first into the metal seat bars causing her to bust her nose, break several teeth and completely knock one tooth out,” she said.

Upon talking to her children, the scenario only got worse in Ms Balneaves’ eyes as she learnt that the bus had no first aid kit and no first aid was administered, no phone call to the office – school or bus, no phone call for an ambulance.

“As my daughter and her little friend tried to get back to their seats, the bus took off again,” she said.

Ms Balneaves said she was advised by staff at Scone Medical Practice to take her daughter to the hospital to see the doctor, which she did, and since then has endured numerous dental appointments, x-rays, medications and a trip to an ear, nose and throat specialist in Newcastle.

Following the incident, Ms Balneaves approached the staff and owners of the bus company where she felt she was only belittled, treated with utter rudeness and the seriousness of the incident was played down.

“I was told the driver’s report said the driver made the call that the bleeding had stopped.

“As there is no medical qualifications for this driver, who gave him the power to make this judgement call when other medically qualified people – doctor and ambulance – have been disgusted that with such an accident, such a contusion to the breathing (nose and mouth) area of the face, was such a call made?,” Ms Balneaves said.

“You can as a parent, only imagine, they never asked to check that they had my number, can we call you in a few days to check, no sorry no nothing.

“I am sickened to my core that this could all have been so much worse,” she said.

Ms Balneaves has lodged complaints with the relevantauthorities, including the Roads and Maritime Service Accreditation and Safety Compliance scheme dispute officer, as well as speaking toambulance paramedics and police.

Ms Balneaves said she believes buses should definitely have seat belts installed.

“It’s not only for their safety, but it keeps the children in their seats,” she said.

“We have to wear seat belts in cars and they have air bags, whereas a bus doesn’t have air bags in every seat.

“The cost would definitely be worth it and surely the government could subsidise it to keep our children safe.”

When contacted by The Scone Advocate, the bus company declined to comment.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Comments are closed.