Ohoka man faces tourist bus crash charge

Court House-Sept-2013-06An Ohoka man charged over a New Year tourist bus crash near Arthur’s Pass has been granted a registrar’s remand at the Christchurch District Court.

The remand was granted at the Court House office, which meant that James Henry Coakley did not need to appear in court before a judge.

A registrar remanded him on bail to appear in court on June 20.

Coakley, described as a 68-year-old engineer, has been charged that on or before December 2015, at Otira, he injured a list of people “in circumstances where if death had been caused he would have been guilty of manslaughter”.

Police said at the time that the Otira Gorge bus crash seriously injured 13 people.

The bus was carrying 31 Chinese tourists when it went out of control and collided with a car travelling up the gorge and then overturned and slid into a roadside barrier.

When the police announced last week that a charge had been laid, they said the man charged was associated with the maintenance of the bus.

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