Ruapehu Alpine Lifts orders new bus fleet following fatal crash

  • 29/09/2018

A Ruapehu bus company is updating its fleet after a crash that killed a young girl.

Eleven-year-old Hannah Francis died when a Ruapehu Alpine Lifts bus rolled in July.

Chief executive Ross Copland says all passenger transport vehicles that are more than 10 years old will be replaced.

"We ordered the six new buses four weeks ago, and they will be delivered in next fortnight," he said.

Hannah was the only one killed when a Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Shuttle bus rolled halfway down Ohakune Mountain Rd on the way down from the ski field. Twenty others were injured.

"Most of the exhaust brakes didn't work on the two wheel drive buses," former Ruapehu Alpine Lifts driver Lucy Conway told RNZ.

"Often the handbrakes didn't work. Sometimes the horns didn't work. They weren't up to Certificate of Fitness standards most of the time I was driving them."

Hannah's mother said she was a "special child who had the kindest heart and soul of anyone we have ever known".

Police are reportedly still investigating the accident.