A chopper carrying a nine-month-old girl and an elderly woman arrives in Townsville after the buggy crash.
A chopper carrying a nine-month-old girl and an elderly woman arrives in Townsville after the buggy crash.

$220k fine as buggy crash cause revealed

A HAMILTON Island business has been fined $220,000 for a golf buggy crash that injured nine people, including children, with investigations finding the cart had not been properly maintained.

Valet Services Pty Ltd was sentenced in Proserpine Magistrates Court today over the 2016 accident which left a woman and her nine-month-old daughter fighting for life after the brakes failed, sending the valet-driven cart crashing down a steep hill and into another parked buggy.

The other six family members and a member of staff were also injured when the buggy lost control.

The scene of the Hamilton Island golf buggy crash. Picture: RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service
The scene of the Hamilton Island golf buggy crash. Picture: RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service


The court heard all nine victims still suffered psychological injuries.

An investigation by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland found the six-seater buggy had brake linings so worn they were "inoperable", the trailer attached was overloaded and the maintenance on the vehicle had been "ad hoc".

Magistrate Simon Young said the CCTV footage of the incident was "confronting" and the victim impact statements were "distressing".

Valet Services pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined $220,000 for two contraventions of section 32 of the Act and ordered to pay professional and court costs of almost $2,000.

No conviction was recorded.

Since the crash, Hamilton Island has implemented new safety restrictions for buggies including the addition of seatbelts and roll bars.



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