Resort staff mourn popular bus driver
The "devastated" staff of a Cairns resort are mourning the death of their shuttle bus driver after he was believed to have suffered a medical episode behind the wheel.
The 69-year-old Kewarra Beach man was believed to have been a long-time and much-loved staff member of the Colonial Club Resort in Manunda.
He was driving the resort's 25-seat shuttle bus from the resort into the Cairns CBD yesterday morning with two young English tourists on board when the crash occurred.
Witnesses described watching the bus leave the road shortly after it travelled through the Aumuller St intersection on Mulgrave Rd, crash through a concrete barrier, a garden bed and mount the kerb before hitting an office building.
Office workers rushed to the scene with several of them racing to the man's aid and starting CPR before emergency services arrived.
The witnesses included Acting Mayor Terry James, who said he was working in the office and watched the crash unfold after initially hearing a loud bang.
"I turned my head to see it (the bus) go over the first kerb, then the garden bed, then the second kerb and hit the building," he said.
"I called triple-0 immediately.
"People in the building went to his (the driver's) aid and gave him CPR."
Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor Manjeet Singh said paramedics worked to save the man's life initially for about 30 minutes at the scene.
"He was in cardiac arrest throughout, then we transported him to hospital," he said.
"There were two other people on the bus and they only had minor injuries. They were more shaken up by the event rather than having any injuries."
Cairns Forensic Crash Unit Sgt Scott Ezard police were considering whether a medical episode was responsible for the crash.
"As the bus travelled through the intersection of Aumuller St the persons on the bus noticed the driver appeared to be unwell," he said.
"He appeared to lose consciousness."
He said the bus sustained significant damage and was towed from the scene and will be mechanically examined.
The building is also likely to be checked out.