Melbourne bus crash: Mum was about to go to Bali when she learned her daughter was in a smash

Mum praises Jetstar for incredible act of kindness after she learned her daughter was caught up in a school bus crash near Melbourne

  • Kerrie Demunk’s daughter was in a school bus with 26 of her school friends
  • Bus rolled down an embankment after a truck ploughed into it on Wednesday
  • One girl’s leg was partially severed, and other teenagers were raced to hospital 
  • Ms Demunk was heading to the airport but had to cancel her plans immediately

A mother has praised Jetstar for giving her a full refund on her Bali trip after learning on the way to the airport that her teenage daughter was the victim of a bus smash. 

The school student was travelling with 26 of her peers from Loreto College Ballarat to Melbourne airport for an excursion at 3.15am on Wednesday.

That’s when a truck collided with their bus near Bacchus Marsh, in the city’s north-west – with the schoolbus rolling 50m down a hill.  

No one died, but 32 students and staff were raced to hospital, with one student’s leg partially severed.

On Wednesday afternoon, a mother took to a private Facebook group to explain her daughter was physically OK but was shaken by the incident. 

The mum was on her way to the airport for a holiday on her own but cancelled her trip and hailed Jetstar for giving her a full refund in the circumstances. 

A devastating collision between a school bus with 27 students on board and a truck has seen two seriously injured and rushed to hospital (pictured, the scene of the crash Wednesday morning)

On Wednesday afternoon, Ms Demunk took to a private Facebook group (pictured) to explain that her daughter was physically OK, she was emotionally shaken

On Wednesday afternoon, Ms Demunk took to a private Facebook group (pictured) to explain that her daughter was physically OK, she was emotionally shaken 

‘I wanted to say how Jetstar has softened the blow of what as been an horrific day for my family,’ the mother wrote.

‘We were on our way to the airport separately, for our trip to Bali, when we learned how serious the crash was. 

‘Their school trip to USA Space camp which was happening when we were to be in Bali, will be cancelled and we must care for our girl. As a consequence our trip today is off.’

She described the budget airline as ‘nothing short of amazing’, despite numerous complaints over the past few months due to lost baggage, lengthy delays and cancelled flights.

‘I just wanted to give credit where due,’ she continued.

‘Please give your loved ones an extra squeeze.’

The mum cancelled her trip to the Indonesian holiday island and praised Jetstar for giving her a full refund (stock image of a Jetstar plane pictured)

The mum cancelled her trip to the Indonesian holiday island and praised Jetstar for giving her a full refund (stock image of a Jetstar plane pictured)

The male truck driver, along with one teenage girl, was rushed to hospital with serious injuries (pictured, the truck that collided with a Ballarat school bus on Wednesday)

Others were quick to applaud Jetstar for being compassionate.

‘Oh gosh how frightening for your family and the families of those involved,’ one group member wrote.

‘Good to see some compassion from Jetstar. I hope everyone is OK and they can still enjoy their trip in the future.

Another said: ‘It’s always good to get good feedback. Hope your daughter and other students recover quickly.’ 

On Wednesday morning, Victoria Police Detective Inspector Roger Schranz explained the school bus had slowed down in accordance with speed reduction signs due to another collision on the road.

The truck, full of sand, then came down the hill and collided with traffic.

Trevor Oliver, who works for a towing company, told Seven News he was about 800m up the road when he heard three loud crashes.

The truck and car collided (location pinpointed) in Bacchus Marsh, in Melbourne's north-west, at 3.15am on Wednesday

The truck and car collided (location pinpointed) in Bacchus Marsh, in Melbourne’s north-west, at 3.15am on Wednesday

A bus carrying 27 female students from Loreto College Ballarat, four adults and a driver collided with a truck and rolled 50m down a hill on Wednesday (pictured, the bus)

 A bus carrying 27 female students from Loreto College Ballarat, four adults and a driver collided with a truck and rolled 50m down a hill on Wednesday (pictured, the bus) 

Mr Oliver raced to the scene and was shocked when he saw injured children, between Year 9 and 11, spilling from the bus and onto the grass.

‘Instantly your heart sinks, but then to get there and find students, (it’s) another world,’ he said.

Mr Oliver said he ran down the embankment and, with the assistance of others, took the driver’s windscreen off to allow some of the girls to climb out.

He then saw one girl whose leg was almost completely separated from her body. ‘Three of us got hold of her … we got her free and carried her out,’ he said.

‘(I) was just trying to calm her down. Grabbing whatever we could to wrap her leg because we were conscious of her bleeding.’

He then gave the students his phone so they could call their families.

Mr Oliver used to work with the Country Fire Authority and has dealt with trauma before, but acknowledged it never gets easier. 

Trevor Oliver (pictured) raced to the scene after a school bus collided with a truck on a Melbourne freeway

Trevor Oliver (pictured) raced to the scene after a school bus collided with a truck on a Melbourne freeway

Inspector Schranz described the lack of fatalities as ‘miraculous’ and believes the use of seatbelts by students in the bus likely saved their lives.

‘There are seatbelts fitted. We don’t know who had a seatbelt on and who didn’t, but I would assume given that so many of them did survive, they would have had their seatbelts on … I believe no one was thrown out of the bus,’ he said.

Inspector Schranz described the crash scene as ‘chaotic’ as children worked to free themselves from the mangled bus.

While the most seriously injured were taken by ambulance or flown from the scene, a bus loaded with paramedics was used to take those with minor injuries to various local hospitals.

‘It was horrific for (the children), but just as horrific for their parents,’ the inspector said.

Ambulance Victoria confirmed they assessed more than 30 people in ‘various conditions’ at the scene of the crash. 

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