Bus crash

Bus plunges into reservoir in China, killing 21

The vehicle was travelling on a bridge on Tuesday in Anshun, Guizhou province when it crashed through a roadside barrier and fell into the water.

Those on board reportedly included students who were scheduled to take the "gaokao" university entrance exams, state media said.

The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.

The driver, who is among the dead, had wokred on this bus route since 1997, Xinhua said.

It's unclear how many people were on the bus at the time and how many of those were students.

Bus crash pain: 'I lost my leg, the army won't allow me to join

The bus driver, Talakai Aholelei, 66, was yesterday sentenced to five-and-a-half months home detention and had his licence suspended for two years, after he earlier pleaded guilty to 30 careless driving charges.

He has also paid $36,000 in reparations to the victims.

The courtroom at the Waitākere District Court was packed with Aholelei's supporters, as well as some of the crash victims and their families - including some who had flown from Tonga.

Gisborne crash driver pleads not guilty to death, injury, charges

Talakai Aholelei, 65, appeared in the Manukau District Court yesterday.

Kaniva News reports he was charged with three counts of careless driving causing death and 27 charges of careless driving causing injury.

Aholelei, who was represented by Nalesoni Tupou, was remanded to appear in the Waitakere District Court on July 25.

A large contingent of the Tongan community were at court today.

Aholelei was driving a bus carrying members of the Mailefihi Siu’ilikutapu College brass, which was raising money for the Tongan school’s 70th anniversary.

'It's not Tongan' - Community leaders unhappy injured bus crash victims kept performing

Tongan citizens Sione Taumololo, 11, and Talita Fifita, 33, died after a bus carrying the Mailefihi Siu'ilikutapu College Brass Band from Tonga went down a 100m bank on SH2 near Gisborne on Christmas Eve.

One of the injured passengers who was taken to Waikato Hospital died just over a week later. She was Leotisia Malakai, 55. 

Community leaders say in the weeks following the crash the band group kept performing, despite injuries and shock.

An ambulance was called to one service where the bandmaster was rushed to intensive care.

Alumni president rejects criticism; says head tutor told her she wanted tour to continue

Rev. Mele Suipi Latu, who is president of the college’s alumni association in New Zealand, told Kaniva News the decision for the college’s brass band to continue fundraising in New Zealand was no disrespect at all to those who died as a result of the Christmas Eve crash.

Rev. Latu said head tutor Leotisia Malakai told her she wanted the tour to continue before she died. Malakai died of injuries received in the crash on January 1.