Changes blamed for Manners bus accident

Golden Mile changes blamed for latest accident

ELLE HUNT
GENERAL REPORTER
Last updated 13:58 04/10/2012
George Chooka manners
CHRIS SKELTON/Fairfax NZ

George Chooka has blamed changes made to the Golden Mile for a bus accident on Manners St yesterday.

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A Manners St retailer who helped a pedestrian hit by a bus has blamed changes made to the Golden Mile.

A 65-year-old woman was hit while crossing Manners St Electronics outside Dick Smith at 10.20am yesterday.

George Chooka of Abrakebabra was serving customer Anny Nguyen when they heard the accident.

Both he and Ms Nguyen rushed out to the street to see the woman lying in the middle of the road.

She was bleeding from a deep, long cut to her temple.

Mr Chooka got a chair and first aid kit from Abrakebabra and helped the woman to the pavement, while a charity worker called an ambulance.

''She was losing a lot of blood - she couldn't stand up.''

Ms Nguyen said the woman was ''bleeding a lot'' from a laceration above her eyebrow.

''I made sure she was OK.

''I was scared she was in shock.''

Mr Chooka said he had seen a lot of near-misses since Manners St became a bus route.

''Too many accidents happen here now.

''They should have kept it as a mall.''

NZ Bus chief executive Shane McMahon said the woman had stepped out between two buses.

''It appears that she was struck by the wing mirror of the bus coming the other way.

''The bus was travelling slowly, but obviously, with a vehicle of that size, the force is considerable.''

An ambulance spokeswoman confirmed the woman was taken to Wellington Hospital in a ''moderate condition'' with lacerations to her face.

Lindsay Davis of the Capital & Coast District Health Board said she had been treated and discharged.

Mr McMahon said the incident was under investigation, ''to see if any lessons could be learned''.

''Our focus is on supporting the driver, who, understandably, is quite upset about what happened.''

He said drivers often ''had zero warning'' to respond to pedestrians in their way.

''When someone steps out from between two buses, literally at the point where they are driving past, that it's very, very difficult to react at all.''

There have been more than a dozen incidents involving buses and pedestrians since the Golden Mile bus lane changes were completed in 2010.

In July, NZ Bus director Tim Brown spent close to two weeks in intensive care at Wellington Hospital after being hit by one of his firm's own buses.

The incident prompted acting mayor at the time Ian McKinnon to order that temporary barriers be erected along Willis St.

Last year, Wellington woman Venessa Green died of critical head injuries after being hit while jogging in the city centre.

Contact Elle Hunt
General reporter
Email: elle.hunt@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @mlle_elle

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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