Bus slams into cafe minutes after it closes

By Amy McGillivray

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An out-of-control bus crashed through a fence and into the deck of a busy Tauranga cafe just 10 minutes after closing time.

A Bay Hopper bus with about a dozen people on board crashed into the side of Cafe Alfresco on the corner of Cameron Rd and Hamilton St about 4.10pm yesterday.

Police and St John were called to the scene.

St John Tauranga operations team manager Ross Clarke said one woman in her 20s was taken to hospital as a precaution. She was complaining of pain in her chest and stomach.

The cafe, which closed at 4pm, was empty at the time but BDO staff in the office above said they felt and heard the crash.

A passenger on the bus said it was "quite freaky" to see the bus carry on turning and head for the building.

"It was a bit of a jolt," he said.

Witness Kaye Davies said the bus would have been turning right into Hamilton St from Cameron Rd.

"I just saw him career across the road in the last few moments before it hit the verandah. There was just a big bang."

Cafe Alfresco owner Malcolm George said he had seen numerous near-misses at the intersections near the business.

"Every day we see a near-accident here. Every month we see an accident here. Time and time again we see it. Only a few months ago I picked a lady up from the intersection of Hamilton St and Durham St," he said.

Mr Malcolm said the council needed to change the bus route.

"They should be going on a main arterial route not down here."

Go Bus representatives at the scene refused to comment.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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