Bus driver pleads guilty over death of pedestrian in Sydney Central Business District

February 3, 2015 – 12:42AM

Stephanie Gardiner

Emergency services work to free Christine Mulholland, who died in hospital after being hit by a bus on Clarence Street.

Emergency services work to free Christine Mulholland, who died in hospital after being hit by a bus on Clarence Street. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

Veteran bus driver Robert Reid took his eyes off the road for just a moment to wave at a colleague who had let him through a busy Sydney intersection.

That simple, polite gesture at the start of peak hour ended the life of publishing executive Christine Mulholland.

Mr Reid, a Sydney bus driver with nearly two decades’ experience, saw a fellow driver flash his lights to let him through the intersection of Clarence and Erskine Streets on the afternoon of January 29 last year, and looked over and waved.

Bus driver Robert Reid leaves court with his daughter on Monday.

Bus driver Robert Reid leaves court with his daughter on Monday.

He drove through the intersection and hit 52-year-old Christine Mulholland, leaving her trapped underneath the bus for hours. Ms Mulholland died later in hospital.

In Central Local Court on Monday, Mr Reid, 71, pleaded guilty to negligent driving occasioning death.

His barrister, Mark Cahill, told the court that Mr Reid was very remorseful and his mental health had suffered since the accident.

“Mr Reid openly concedes that he looked down and to the right and waved in the direction of the driver at a point in time when he was passing through the intersection. It is indeed a matter of deep regret,” Mr Cahill said.

“As a polite driver, acknowledging a colleague and acknowledging he’s done him a favour … it’s with the deepest of regret that that has occurred and the consequences are so enormous.”

The court heard the area around the intersection was also covered in “deep shadow”.

Mr Reid, supported by his wife and daughter, closed his eyes during some of the evidence and was visibly stressed during the hearing.

Ms Mulholland’s partner, Bruce Gentle, was also there, but did not address the court.

Prosecutor Mark Drury argued that although the accident was tragic, Mr Reid was in a position to see the road well from his elevated seat and should have been paying attention.

“I know these are tragic circumstances and both parties are hurting,” Mr Drury said.

“That intersection is quite heavy, [but] this is a regular route that the accused takes. It’s an area he’s familiar with, therefore he should know what the conditions are. He’s got a large vehicle under his control.”

Ms Mulholland was legally walking across the crossing, an area that should be “sacrosanct” for pedestrians, Mr Drury said.

Mr Reid will be sentenced on Thursday morning.

 

Source : The Sydney Morning Herald

Qantas’ Boeing 767 marks its final flight with Sydney Central Business District flyover

December 27, 2014 – 4:59PM

Qantas is retiring its Boeing 767 fleet.

Qantas is retiring its Boeing 767 fleet. Photo: Craig Abraham

After 29 years of service, Qantas is farewelling its last Boeing 767 as the trusty aircraft enters retirement.

The specially named QF767, once the workhorse of the fleet, is making its final flight on Saturday, departing Melbourne for Sydney at 5pm.

The Boeing 767 flight will do a flyover of the Sydney CBD, before landing at the airport at 6.25pm.

The widebody aircraft, which can carry 250 people, has been in the Qantas fleet since 1985.

During that time, it has carried almost 168 million passengers on more than 927,000 flights.

Captain Mike Galvin, Boeing 767 pilot and Qantas flying operations head, said the reliable aircraft had served the airline well.

“The 767 has been a staple in the Qantas fleet for more than two decades and was a favourite with both crew and customers,” Mr Galvin said.

“While it’s sad to say goodbye, it’s definitely time to retire the 767s as we have been bringing in newer aircraft that are more advanced and fuel efficient.”

The move will cut the number of different Qantas aircrafts from 11 to seven.

Over the years, Qantas has had 41 Boeing 767s in its fleet. Together, they have flown more than 1.8 billion kilometres – the equivalent of 2438 return trips to the moon.

In recent years, the aircraft flew between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and from the east coast to Perth.

Newer, larger A330s, which are receiving interior upgrades and can seat 300 people, will take over much of that flying, with the rest done by more use of the airline’s smaller B737s.

Since the 2009 financial year, Qantas has had more than 140 new aircraft and retired more than 80.

This has brought the average age of its fleet down to 7.7 years – the lowest it’s been for more than 20 years and significantly younger than the averages in North America, Europe or the Asia-Pacific.

AAP

Source : The Sydney Morning Herald

Gas leak closes roads in Sydney’s CBD

November 29, 2013 – 10:16AM

Amanda Hoh

Video Journalist

Shops and businesses have been evacuated as a result of a gas leak on the corner of George and Liverpool Street in Sydney’s CBD.

A number of surrounding roads have been closed.

A gas main was ruptured by construction workers just before 8.30am on Friday.

At 9.15am, Liverpool Street was closed westbound between Kent and George Street, with traffic heavy through the area.

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According to the Transport Management Centre, buses that would usually terminate at Circular Quay are diverting off George Street. There are flow-on delays for buses of about 30 minutes, the Transport Management Centre says.

“The leak is a relatively small one given the size of the main,” a NSW Fire and Rescue spokesman said.

Buildings surrounding the construction site were found to have a gas reading of zero but were evacuated as a precaution, a NSW Fire and Rescue spokesman said.

“It’s a very low level but we can’t take any chances. The contractors will dig up the footpath to stop the leak.”

People have been evacuated from the construction area.

While the spokesman said the gas main is 75 millimetres in size and the leak “will dissipate quickly”, there are still fears an explosion could occur.

“With a gas leak there is always that fear – that’s why they evacuate and that’s why the firies will stay around there to make sure there are no ignition sources,” he said.

“If there’s something that ignites it, you can have some sort of explosion.”

It’s expected to take constructions workers up to two hours to dig into the footpath to reach the gas main for repairs.

The spokesman said the construction site may be a renovation of an existing building but he was unsure which company the contractors are from or how the main was damaged.

It is unknown when access to the evacuated buildings and closed streets will be granted.

with Jacob Saulwick and Charmaine Wong

 

The Sydney Morning Herald