Hero with hammer: Passenger bashes path out of crashed bus

August 8, 2019

Author: Wes Hosking

A hero passenger caught up in a shocking bus crash, has told how he went to the aid of fellow travellers – smashing a path to safety.
Shaun Kearns used an emergency hammer to break through a window in the frantic seconds after the accident as dozens of passengers who could scrambled out.

The bus was travelling from Adelaide to Melbourne when it ploughed into two trailers which detached from a B-double truck on the Western Hwy near Horsham.

The bus driver was killed.

Mr Kearns told the Herald Sun: “All of a sudden I felt the bus brake once heavily and then brake again.”

“People were starting to cry and scream and unfortunately there was lots of kids on the bus too,” he said.

“I just got everyone to calm down for a couple of seconds at least.

“I used the hammer and it broke the first time – the hammer not the window. Someone got a second hammer and I got it right in the corner. I hit the window again and it smashed.

“We pushed the glass out and started getting people off.

“I was just trying to help as many people as I could and tried to look after the injured ones as well.”

Emergency arrived soon after – cutting another hole to free passengers still inside the mangled bus.

Mr Kearns, who was returning from a family gathering with girlfriend Joanne Blackadder, said he couldn’t stop thinking about the July 11 smash.
He sustained a leg injury which required surgery and cut to the face.

Ms Blackadder sustained a cut to the eye.

“I think of it every day,” Mr Kearns said.

“It’s something that’s going to stick with me for a while.

“I just wish the outcome was better.”

Michel Margalit, of Margalit Injury Lawyers, was now assisting Mr Kearns and Ms Blackadder with Transport Accident Commission entitlements.
“I’ve been amazed in my discussions with Shaun. He has been so selfless,” Ms Margalit said.

“He has always be mindful of looking after others – he’s one of those silent heroes.

“A mass traumatic accident like this is quite rare.

“It’s incredibly lucky there weren’t more fatalities or physical injuries.”

The truck driver, 36, was released by police pending further inquiries.

A South Australian woman, 22, who was a passenger in the rig was allegedly caught with drugs.

This article was also published in The Herald Sun. To read the article click here.