Hallam bus crash: Residents say 'accident waiting to happen'

A school bus and car collided on Nettle Drive, Hallam. Picture: Wayne Hawkins

By CAMERON LUCADOU-WELLS

UPDATE: Residents say they have been pleading for speed humps on Nettle Drive, Hallam for more than a year where a car crashed head-on into a moving school bus yesterday afternoon.

On a chicane-like corner, the red sports car had veered onto the wrong side of the road in the path of the bus about 3.50pm. Its crushed bonnet had ‘‘dipped’’ under the bus, Inspector Wayne Viney, of Casey police, said. He said speed would be investigated as a possible factor.

An Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said a CFA crew took an hour to cut the driver, with serious head and leg injuries, from the wreck. He was airlifted to The Alfred hospital with life-threatening injuries and remains in a ‘‘critical but stable’’ condition this morning.

CLICK HERE for picture gallery

SEE: Hallam speedsters frighten families

A front passenger, with serious abdominal injuries, was driven by ambulance to The Alfred. As of this morning, he was in a stable condition.

A rear male passenger was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Some of the 31 Emerson School children on the bus were distressed; some had ‘‘superficial injuries’’ such as blood noses and cuts but were largely unhurt, Inspector Viney said.

The bus driver and a bus passenger were treated for shock at Dandenong Hospital.

Nearby residents, who milled around the scene, say they filled in surveys for Casey Council to install speed humps on the drive more than a year ago.

They say the measures are needed to calm the constant hoon traffic speeding on Nettle Drive’s winding corners.

There are no signs warning drivers to slow around the corner, or speed humps or other measures, such as guard rails to protect homes and families.

Lux Fakiki, who lives metres from where the crash happened, yesterday said it was about the fourth accident near the crash site in the past five months.

He said speeding cars were a constant danger, especially to the many children residing nearby.

Last September the Journal spoke to several families on Nettle Drive — a few hundred metres from the crash site — who have witnessed several cars sliding off the road onto their lawns in the past two years.

Lloyd Nigli’s yard had been breached twice. On the most recent occasion, a south-bound sports car slammed into his yard’s only gum tree, metres from his house.

The car spun and ricocheted 20 metres away onto the opposite side of the road.

On other occasions, a car rammed a letterbox and concrete base out of the ground; another crashed into a four-wheel-drive parked in a driveway.

Casey transport manager Paul Hamilton said a ‘local traffic management scheme’ for Nettle Drive was endorsed at a council meeting in January.

The $100,000 project for five ‘‘speed cushions’’ on Fitzgerald Road and Nettle Drive will be referred to the council’s future capital works program and subject to funding availability. ‘‘There is a high demand for traffic management devices across the municipality and there are significant costs associated with their implementation,’’ he said.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.