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Hunter Valley wedding bus crash: Brett Andrew Button pleads guilty to dangerous driving


The driver responsible for a fatal NSW Hunter Valley bus crash has pleaded guilty to a string of dangerous driving charges.

But Brett Andrew Button, 59, had all 10 of his manslaughter charges dropped when he faced Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday when he admitted a lesser charge over the June 2023 crash that killed 10 people and injured dozens more.

In a plea deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of dangerous driving causing death, nine counts of dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm and 16 counts of frantic driving causing bodily harm.

Driver Brett Button (pictured) has pleaded guilty to a bus crash in the NSW Hunter Valley that left 10 dead and many others injured.

Ten wedding guests died in the accident.  They included Rebecca Mullen, Zach Bray, Angus Craig, Tori Cowburn, Nadene and Kyah McBride, Kane Symons, Andrew and Lynan Scott and Darcy Bulman

Ten wedding guests died in the accident. They included Rebecca Mullen, Zach Bray, Angus Craig, Tori Cowburn, Nadene and Kyah McBride, Kane Symons, Andrew and Lynan Scott and Darcy Bulman

Prosecutors had previously said they would ask for Button to be remanded in custody, a move defense attorneys have indicated they would not oppose.

He was not required to substantiate the charges, including negligent driving causing death.

Another 25 assault charges were dropped.

Button arrived at court flanked by a pack of about a dozen supporters.

He said nothing to the large group of waiting media.

Button was arrested after he lost control of a bus carrying wedding guests from the Wandin Valley Estate to Singleton at around 11.30pm on June 11.

The bus overturned on its side after hitting a guardrail.

Button has previously apologized for the incident, telling reporters outside court in March that he was «devastated by what happened» and that he was «truly and deeply sorry».

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The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to comment on the reason for the withdrawal of the manslaughter charge.

Button was on bail after initially being released due to concerns about his mental health and wellbeing if he was held in custody.

The bus overturned on its side after Button lost control while transporting wedding guests

The bus overturned on its side after Button lost control while transporting wedding guests

Families criticize ‘betrayal’

Matt Mullen, the father of Rebecca Mullen, who died in the crash, asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to go over the original manslaughter counts that were included in the 89 charges Button was expected to face.

«I’ve pleaded with them, we’re still waiting in the process and we’re hoping they’ll change their mind,» Mr. Mullen told 7News.

«It’s a tattoo on our hearts that we’ll have to carry for the rest of our lives forever.»

His wife Leanne said the news of the reduced charges, which the families were told just 36 hours before Button’s hearing, was devastating.

‘As aa mum, to be able to hold her while she was still warm, hold her hand, kiss her forehead to tell her the things I needed to say that were denied because it was a crime scene,’ she said.

“But now it seems to me that those sacrifices of mine as a mother have been disrespected.

Montana Bray, whose 30-year-old brother Zach Bray died in the crash, said the news hit her hard.

«I feel disrespected and I feel like they’re trying to move things along quickly and quietly,» she said.

«The 10 people who died on that bus deserve better than this.»

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