Company disputes events in Bus KO

07:41, Jan 21 2012
thelma symons
ON THE MEND: Thelma Symons, 86, would like an apology from the bus driver who ran her down at a pedestrian crossing.

NakedBus.com says it's not at fault for one of its buses striking down an elderly woman.

And while the company won't apologise it wants to extend its "sympathies and support".

Chief executive Hamish Nuttall today said their driver had the green light when 86-year-old Thelma Symons crossed the road.

"We obviously regret the incident happening," he said.

Symons was heading into town on January 11, when she was hit and knocked unconscious outside the Hamilton Transit Centre about 9.40am.

She said that while she couldn't remember a lot, she remembered seeing two people cross the controlled crossing in front of her and, with the green "cross" light still flashing, she stepped on to the road.

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"I'm not that fast at getting across at any time but I mean I stepped on to it and it was still going green, he should never have come around the corner."

Symons said she was later told the driver of the bus was obscured by a blind spot, and wanted an apology from the bus company.

"I think it's shocking I never heard from them again. He was definitely in the wrong. I don't know what to do; I'd like an apology or something. To think that the joker's just got away with nothing, I don't think it's very fair."

But Nuttall disagreed with Symons' recollection of events.

"Our vehicle was stationary at traffic lights when the green light came on, the driver waited for some pedestrians to finish crossing before he turned left," he said.

"Mrs Symons crossed the road on a red light. She wasn't actually at the crossing, she was further down the road, and walked right into the path of our bus. It wasn't anything to do with bad sight or anything."

Nuttall said immediately following the incident, a representative went to Hamilton and attempted to contact Symons, but the hospital wouldn't release her details.

"Now that we have them, we are quite happy to contact Mr and Mrs Symons and extend our sympathies and support."

But Nuttall said the company would not apologise for the incident as they were not at fault.

He would not comment further as police were still completing their investigation.

He said safety was taken "extremely seriously" and it was a top priority at Naked Bus.

Symons yesterday was still recovering, with serious bruising and her arm in plaster. She underwent surgery on both her wrist and elbow.

Since the accident Symons has had difficulty with everyday chores.

Nine days after the accident, she and husband John, who is vision-impaired, have yet to receive any home help.

ACC was in the process of organising some assistance, but Symons would like to see Naked Bus foot the bill.

While the Waikato Times made unsuccessful efforts to contact nakedbus for comment it acknowledges not all avenues were used.

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