Driver error is being blamed for a Yellow Hopper bus knocking down a kauri tree outside the Tauranga Art Gallery on Willow Street.
A witness who sent photos to SunLive says he initially believed the crash was due to brake failure as the collision was a “slow motion impact”.
“I was standing there watching the crash. It happened in quite slow motion and broke the windscreen on the bus.”
The witness says he's disappointed Tauranga City Council contractors did not try to save the kauri and instead opted to chop it down after the collision, as he believes it could have been saved.
The Bay of Plenty regional Council says it was informed by the bus operator that a Route 55 bus travelling from the city towards the polytechnic crashed into a tree at 10.50am.
No injuries are reported and the operator is investigating the incident.
Go Bus operations director Darryl Bellamy says the brakes didn't fail. It was driver error.
The driver was concentrating on resetting or setting his ticket machine and the bus rolled forward while he was doing so and was “inching forward slowly.”
Darryl says brakes rarely fail in the bus industry.