24 Feb 2012

'No evidence' truck driver tried to avoid hitting school bus

6:32 am on 24 February 2012

Police say there is no evidence the driver of a logging truck swerved or braked heavily before crashing into a school bus near Whakatane in September last year.

Joe Morehu, 42, of Tawera, appeared in the Whakatane District Court on Thursday facing 16 charges of dangerous driving causing injury.

In the police summary of facts, it is also alleged a blood sample showed traces of tetrahydrocannabinol, an active ingredient of cannabis, was in his system at the time of the crash.

Mr Morehu also faces two charges under the Land Transport Act for producing a log book containing between one and five omissions, and exceeding the maximum continuous work time period of five-and- a-half hours on the day of the crash.

He faces an additional charge of drink-driving in relation to another crash in December last year in which a tractor was damaged.

Mr Morehu did not enter any pleas. He was remanded on bail to reappear on 22 March and ordered not to drive a motor vehicle.