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Monday 27 June 2016 | Published in Regional


VANUATU – Two young Queensland brothers remain in hospital five days after they were seriously injured in a deadly Vanuatu bus crash.

Three ni-Vanuatu locals, including a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, were killed when a tour bus carrying travellers from a P&O cruise collided with a commuter bus near the capital Port Vila on Monday afternoon.

Police have been waiting for the tour bus driver to be released from hospital, where he was admitted with minor injuries, to charge him with reckless driving causing death.

Vanuatu police acting assistant commissioner Songi George Andrews told Fairfax Media the driver of the tour bus had allegedly recklessly swerved to the wrong side of the road pretending to hit some people he knew as a prank before colliding with the other bus.

The Queensland brothers, named as Riley and Vaughn Rohr, 11 and 7, were among the nine Australians and an American injured, along with their 49-year-old mother Deborah, who had a fractured pelvis and chest injuries.

“One had sustained head injuries and the other had sustained fractures to his lower legs,” Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor Gavin Fuller said.

Both boys and their mother were initially flown to a hospital in New Caledonia.

Riley was critically injured in the crash but doctors in Noumea managed to stabilise him on Thursday.

The family was travelling in the bus with family friend Annie Trow, 4, who suffered a leg fracture.

Both boys flew into the Gold Coast Airport in a stable condition after days of treatment on the Pacific island.

They were taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital, with their mother expected to fly in on a later flight, the last of the injured Australians to fly home.

A 76-year-old American tourist remained in a critical condition in a Brisbane hospital on Friday.

The bus passengers had been cruising on the Pacific Dawn.

Carnival Australia denied suggestions the driver may have been speeding or was drunk, adding that it would suspend dealings with the tour company involved pending an investigation.

P&O passengers who had done similar tours in the past said they’d feared for their own safety while in Vanuatu.

“I went on one of the tour buses through P&O and it was the scariest I had ever been on,” Val Mer wrote on Facebook.

“We nearly had a head on collision and the driver was speeding like a maniac.”

Another, Daniel Adams, agreed: “They need to drive safer and when we were there the van we were put into – after paying top dollar for the tour – had extremely bald tyres and then he was speeding on gravel roads.

“P&O need to monitor this better. My wife and I were scared.”

- PNC sources