Otira bus crash mechanic pleads not guilty

Otira bus crash mechanic pleads not guilty

A Canterbury mechanic charged over a horrific New Year's Eve tourist bus crash has pleaded not guilty and elected trial by jury.

James Henry Coakley, 68, had carried out maintenance on the bus before it's brakes allegedly failed. He faces a charge of injuring people in circumstances where if death had been caused he would have been guilty of manslaughter.

Thirty-one Chinese tourists were on board last year when the bus lost control travelling along the Otira Gorge.

Thirteen passengers were seriously injured, with some suffering serious fractures and internal injuries which put them in hospital.