Truck Driver Granted Bail After Serious School Bus Crash
A truck driver involved in a serious school bus crash that occurred west of Melbourne has been granted bail. Jamie Gleeson, a Balliang East man aged 49, appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court. It is alleged that Gleeson was behind the wheel of a truck that collided with a school bus carrying 45 students from Exford Primary School. The crash occurred at around 3:40 pm on Wednesday afternoon.
Gleeson, who has been a truck driver for 18 years, told police that he would normally “take it easy” in school zones and was accelerating out of the 60km/h zone outside Exford Primary School when he noticed flashes of sunlight coming through the trees. He said he hit the brakes after seeing the brake lights on the bus in front of him, but he didn’t have enough time to stop before hitting the back.
Prosecutor Ben Kerlin said the bus driver had noticed the truck approaching quickly from behind before it was struck. Gleeson’s lawyer said this was his first time in custody and he had no prior driving or other criminal matters.
Magistrate Andrew McKenna agreed to grant bail for Gleeson, noting there would be a delay in bringing the case to court. Prosecutors have asked for 16 weeks to prepare the brief of evidence against him, given the size of the collision scene and the number of children who will need to be interviewed.
The crash has left seven children in serious conditions at the Royal Children’s Hospital with “life-changing” injuries. Royal Children’s Hospital chief executive officer Bernadette McDonald said the children had suffered multiple and traumatic injuries, including partial and complete amputations of arms, multiple crushed limb injuries, severe lacerations to the head and body, and head injuries.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing, and police have said that “speed would be considered” as part of the investigation. The bus driver, a 52-year-old Melton West man, was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The serious school bus crash that occurred west of Melbourne has left seven children with life-changing injuries. The truck driver involved in the crash, Jamie Gleeson, has been granted bail and is due back in court for a committal mention on October 18. The investigation into the crash is ongoing, and police have said that “speed would be considered” as part of the investigation.