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Company’s buses hit Montague Street bridge in 2006 and 2016, court told

The bus that crashed into the Montague Street bridge in South Melbourne in 2016 was the second bus from the same company to have hit the notorious structure, a trial has heard.

On Wednesday the County Court was told a Bacchus Marsh Coaches bus, 3.9 metres high, crashed into the three-metre clearance bridge in March 2006, and some passengers were injured.

Prosecutors allege Gold Bus Ballarat bus driver Jack Aston was criminally negligent in failing to take heed of five warning signs alerting motorists of Montague Street bridge’s low clearance before he drove a 3.6 metre-high bus into it at 10.22am on February 22, 2016.

Montague Street Bridge after the Gold Bus crashed into it in February 2016.

Montague Street Bridge after the Gold Bus crashed into it in February 2016.Credit:Jason South

Six of the 14 passengers on the bus suffered serious injuries including head and spinal fractures, broken collarbones and facial lacerations. Mr Aston was also seriously injured.

Bacchus Marsh Coaches and Gold Bus Ballarat are owned by the same company, the court heard, and at times share policies, buses and drivers, but are based at different depots.

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