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Update after horror deadly bus crash

BUS DRIVER COURT CASE
The driver involved in the nightmare wedding bus crash in the Hunter Valley will remain out on bail despite facing 10 charges of manslaughter.

A bus driver facing 10 manslaughter charges over a crash that killed 10 wedding guests in NSW will remain on bail after new charges were brought against him.

Brett Button, 59, allegedly lost control of the bus taking 35 people home from a wedding of local couple Mitchell Gaffney and Madeleine Edsell on June 11 last year.

Husband and wife Andrew and Lynan Scott, Zachary Bray, Angus Craig, Darcy Bulman, Tori Cowburn, Rebecca Mullen, Kane Symons, and mother-and daughter Nadene and Kyah McBride were all killed in the crash.

BUS DRIVER COURT CASE
Brett Andrew Button will remain on bail after being hit with 10 manslaughter charges. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

Twenty five people were hospitalised in the wake of the accident, nine of whom were seriously injured when the bus toppled over near a roundabout in the Hunter Valley.

Police have now charged Mr Button with 26 further offences.

On top of the 10 new manslaughter charges, Mr Button is also facing 16 charges of causing bodily harm by “wanton or furious driving”, court documents reveal.

Mr Button was not in court when the new charges were heard but was ordered to attend the next hearing by Magistrate Ian Cheetham.

“He needs to be here,” he said.

BUS DRIVER COURT CASE
Mr Button was not required in court on Wednesday but was ordered by the Magistrate to appear in the next hearing. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

His lawyer requested he be allowed to remain on bail with the same conditions, despite facing upgraded charges.

The prosecutor did not oppose the request, which Magistrate Cheetham granted.

“The crown consents to Mr Button being subject to the same bail conditions he was previously subject to,” Magistrate Cheetham said.

The family of Rebecca Mullen, who was killed in the crash, was present in court while the Magistrate granted the request.

They remained expressionless when he was granted bail. They immediately stood up and left the court room after the order was handed down.

They did not comment on the case when approached by NCA NewsWire.

BUS DRIVER COURT CASE
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos JUNE 13, 2023: Brett Andrew Button pictured getting into a car with the waiting media around it after walking out of Cessnock police station after being granted bail. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

Mr Button will be free in the community until his next court date in March.

He also faces allegations he caused bodily harm by misconduct to the same nine people as well as 16 others, as well as 10 charges each of dangerous driving and negligent driving occasioning death.

Mayor of Cessnock City Council Jay Suvaal said the court proceedings would be a difficult time for the families of the ten crash victims.

“This will likely be a very traumatic time for the victims and families involved and my thoughts remain with them during this difficult period.”

State MP for the Upper Hunter Dave Layzell, who appeared alongside Singleton Mayor Sue Moore and supported the families of the victims in the weeks after the crash, also acknowledged the difficulty facing families and survivors.

“The whole trial process will be very difficult on the families and I think this year in particular, as we go through the legal process, will be very tough on them,” he said.

“Obviously the police are undertaking a very comprehensive investigation, and they’ve done a fantastic job to date. The comments I’ve received from the families are that they are absolutely thankful to how the police have managed this, and have kept them informed along the way.

“Now we’ve got to wait and see how these charges will roll out, and the accused will have his day in court.”