Australia bus crash: first victims of wedding tragedy named

Ten people died and 25 people were taken hospital after a bus carrying wedding guests crashed into a roundabout, ITV News' Bairbre Holmes reports

The first victims of an Australian bus crash which left 10 wedding guests dead have been named.

Among the dead was a mother and daughter, and several members of a local Aussie rules team.

The bus had been returning from a wedding with 36 people onboard just after 11.30pm on Sunday when it crashed into a roundabout at Greta, in the Hunter Region in New South Wales. Twenty five passengers were taken to hospital.

The driver has been charged with multiple offences.

NSW Police confirmed the guests had attended a wedding at the Wandin Estate Winery and were heading for their accommodation in the town of Singleton.

The wedding was for local footballers Mitchell Gaffney and Maddy Edsell, who were not on the bus at the time, according to Australia's 9News.

They are understood to be members of the Singleton Roosters Aussie rules team, as were some of the guests.

Emergency services at the scene following a bus crash in Australia. Credit: AP

Nadene McBride, her daughter Kyah McBride and Kyah's boyfriend Kane Symons have been named as victims.

Andrew and Lynan Scott, Angus Craig, Bec Mullen, Tori Cowburn, and Zachary Bray have also been named by local news as among those killed in the tragedy.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the tragedy as "cruel" and "so so unfair".

In a statement he said: "All Australians' thoughts go out to the family, friends, and loved ones of those we've lost in such horrific circumstances."

Nadene McBride (left), her daughter Kyah McBride (middle) and Kyah's boyfriend Kane Symons (right).
Tori Cowburn (left) and Zachary Bray (right).

Couple Andrew and Lynan Scott have been named among those killed in the bus crash in Australia.

Angus Craig (left) and Bec Mullen (right).

Police Assistant Commissioner Tracy Chapman said rescuers smashed the front window to remove people from the wrecked bus.

The injured passengers were taken to the John Hunter Hospital, but some have now been flown to Sydney for care.

Police Commissioner Karen Webb said investigators had not yet determined what caused the bus to roll on its side and that it may not be known for some time.

The police commissioner also said that whether passengers were wearing seatbelts "will come under scrutiny".

The guests were coming back from the wedding of Mitchell Gaffney and Maddy Edsell. Credit: Instagram

The crash appeared to be the deadliest on Australia's roads since 1994.

A motorist who drove past the crash scene, identified by Australian Broadcasting Corp. only as Alison, said the fog was so heavy she could not make out the colors of the flashing lights of police cars, ambulances and fire trucks.

"The fog was terrible. It was super foggy. You could barely see in front of you."

Following the incident, the Federal Member for Hunter Dan Repacholi tweeted: "If you or anyone you know needs any help or support, please reach out to me or my office.

"Now is also a good time to hug someone that you love and remember how precious life is."

People have been laying flowers at a roadblock in Huntlee near to the scene of the bus crash. Credit: AP

Jay Suvaal, the mayor of nearby Cessnock, told local reporters the crash was “truly horrific.”

“We are a major wedding and tourist destination in the Hunter Valley, and so there will be people from all over the state and the country that have been to these areas and have probably done similar things.

“I think it will send shock waves right through the broader community.”

The driver of the bus, a 58-year-old man, was taken to hospital under police guard for mandatory testing and assessment.

He was later transferred to Cessnock Police Station where he was charged with ten counts of dangerous driving occasioning death - drive manner dangerous, and negligent driving (occasioning death).

The Maitland man was refused bail to appear at Cessnock Local Court on Tuesday 13 June.

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