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Teen tells of the moment he learned his mate was dead

LUCKY TO BE ALIVE: Matt Edwards’ is recovering from injuries received in the bus crash on February 16. He was released from hospital two weeks ago.
LUCKY TO BE ALIVE: Matt Edwards’ is recovering from injuries received in the bus crash on February 16. He was released from hospital two weeks ago. Peter Carruthers

IMAGINE waking after a high-speed bus crash to the news that the mate you got on the bus with was dead.

That's exactly what happened to crash survivor Matthew Edwards.

Matt was on the ill-fated Whitsunday Transit bus that left Airlie Beach for Proserpine on Tuesday afternoon, February 16. He got on the bus with his mate Casey Stinson.

"I was sitting right up the back seat and he was sitting two seats in front of me," Matt said.

"Something went wrong with the bus, there was a quick jar… the next minute we are all getting chucked around… the next minute I know everything just went black and I woke up in hospital."

He woke to the news of Casey's death.

"They didn't want to tell me straight away because of my head injury. They didn't want me to freak out."

Matt said he felt lucky to be alive.

I was sitting right up the back seat and he was sitting two seats in front of me

Though the cuts on his left elbow, shoulder and knee are healing well there is still concern about his head injury.

"I had to have therapy and physio. The therapy was easy because they thought I lost my memory (but)… my memory is pretty good, nothing has changed."

VALE: Casey Stinson.
VALE: Casey Stinson.

Two weeks ago a group of indigenous lads played in Matthew's honour at a fundraising touch footy match against a local police team.

"It's great that they did that and I thank them a lot," he said.

On Monday Matthew even had the Nike shoes he was wearing at the time of the crash replaced by Ben Malady, of Whitsunday Transit.

Matthew's step-mother, Lorraine Durre, said such generosity "restores your faith in human kindness".

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