THE family of Harry Dunn, tragically killed in a horror school bus smash at Singleton, spent yesterday by his younger brother’s bedside in John Hunter Hospital.
Harry, 9, and Luke, 7, were headed home from school when their bus and a prime mover collided at the intersection of Church and Kelso streets. Five other children and the bus driver were injured in the accident.
Harry was pronounced dead at the scene, while Luke and another boy with the surname Simpson, 7, were flown to John Hunter Children’s Hospital in a critical condition.
The Dunns’ father, Dean, received the heart-breaking news shortly after arriving in Glen Innes on a Camp Quality fund-raising bike ride from Ipswich to Newcastle.
Camp Quality released a statement yesterday confirming Mr Dunn, who works at Xstrata’s Glendell mine as a health and safety co-ordinator, was driven back to Singleton that night to join his wife Sarah, daughter Georgia and other family members.
‘‘Tragically Dean’s son Harry passed away and his other son Luke was airlifted to hospital,’’ the statement said.
‘‘Our riders are all very distraught for their teammate Dean [who] is such a treasured member of our team.’’
Chief executive officer Simon Rountree, who spoke to Mr Dunn yesterday, said Camp Quality sent its deepest condolences to his family.
‘‘He asked that the other 29 cyclists continue the ride,’’ Mr Rountree said.
‘‘Today they are wearing black armbands out of respect for Dean’s loss.’’
A statement from the Dunn and Simpson families released yesterday thanked the Singleton community for its support during their ordeal and requested privacy.
‘‘Both families are going through a tragic and traumatic experience,’’ the statement said.
‘‘We would, however, like to assure our community that both boys are doing well and are in a stable condition.
‘‘We will now be concentrating on the recovery of both our boys and will not be commenting further.’’
The male bus driver, 54, suffered head injuries in the crash and was taken to Singleton Base Hospital. He was discharged yesterday.
The 34-year-old male truck driver suffered cuts to his face and was taken to Singleton Base Hospital before being discharged.
Both have provided police with mandatory blood and urine samples.
The other injured children, aged between six and 10, suffered minor injuries including complaints of back and neck pain and have all been released from hospital.
Harry’s parents, who live around the corner from the accident, are avid cyclists and members of Singleton’s Soft Cogs, a group that rides long distances to raise money for charity.
Mrs Dunn, a NSW triathlon champion, told the Singleton Argus last year that the support from her family was one part of the sport she loved.
She said seeing the look on her children’s faces when she came home with a medal was priceless.
Hunter Valley Buses general manager Rodney Landers said he had visited schools in the area and offered assistance yesterday.
He said the company’s thoughts were with all the children and families hurt by the accident.
‘‘We are also supporting our driver, who is recovering from his injuries, and offering counselling to his workmates,’’ Mr Landers said.