NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Tracy Chapman has confirmed that ten people had been killed and a further 21 passengers from the bus were confirmed to still be in hospital after a horror crash in Hunter Valley.
NSW Premier Chris Minns tweeted: “The tragic loss of so many lives in a bus crash last night in the Hunter is nothing short of heartbreaking. To those injured and those who have lost loved ones – the thoughts of our state are with you.”
The 57-seat bus had been carrying 40 passengers who had just attended wedding of newly-married couple Mitchell Gaffney and Maddy Edsell at the nearby Wandin Estate winery and was on the way to Singleton.
NSW emergency services were called just after 11.30pm on Sunday night at the roundabout on Wine Country Drive near the Hunter Expressway off-ramp at Greta.
The bus overturned carrying wedding guests had just left from Wandin Valley Estate in NSW’s Hunter Valley.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said NSW Premier Chriss Minns had confirmed to him that locals had been caught up in the tragedy.
One patient is in a critical condition and eight patients are in a stable condition at John Hunter Hospital; five patients are in a stable condition at Maitland Hospital; five are in a stable condition at Calvary Mater Newcastle; and two patients are in a stable condition at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
Many guests at the wedding, including the groom, Mitchell Gaffney, are believed to be members of the Singleton Roosters AFL team.
Warrandyte Cricket Club president Royce Jaksic told The Sydney Morning Herald that there were also up to nine current players and their partners on the bus at the time of the crash.
NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Tracy Chapman told media:
“We’re investigating all avenues of driver behaviour. “He’s the driver of a motor vehicle, there is sufficient information for us to establish that there will be charges but I won’t go into the detail about those at this time.”
“From a policing perspective, our role is to make sure that we undertake a full and thorough investigation to ensure that some comfort may be given to the public at the conclusion of that process.”
NSW Police have confirmed that the 58-year-old bus driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries and has been arrested with ‘charges are pending’.
The owners of the bus company, Linq, said they were “working with NSW Police and authorities” in their investigation.