Bruce Kent at work.
Bruce Kent at work. The Sunshine Coast Daily/Supplied

Widow calls for due recognition for brave bus driver

NOT a day goes by that Joan Kent doesn't think of her late husband Bruce.

It's been more than four years since he died, but she still finds comfort in the fact that his actions saved 14 people's lives.

But it breaks her heart that his bravery is still not officially recognised.

On March 4, 2009, the Sunbus driver sacrificed his life to protect his passengers when a four-wheel-drive travelling along Nambour Connection Road at Kulangoor swerved onto the wrong side of the road.

"On the left-hand side there was an avoid the oncoming vehicle he could have swerved off that, but then the bus would have rolled," Mrs Kent said.

Rather than put his passengers at risk, the 50-year-old veteran driver from Tewantin positioned the bus so his cabin took the brunt of the collision.

Mr Kent died at the scene, leaving behind his wife Joan and daughter Alanah, who was 23 at the time.

Mrs Kent said she had no doubt he died a hero.

"He must have been absolutely petrified on that day and to do what he did and to save 14 other people, I think that's amazingly brave," she said.

The family's request for a bravery award was denied by the Australian Bravery Decorations Council - a decision which left Mrs Kent devastated.

The accident scene at which Bruce Kent died.
The accident scene at which Bruce Kent died. Brett Wortman

She has made a plea to the community to never forget her husband.

"I would like to put back into people's minds the amazing things that he did,' she said.

"It would mean a lot to us to have him recognised in the community as being very brave."

The almost daily sight of Sunbuses on Coast roads was too much for Mrs Kent to bear and she has moved interstate to escape the reminders.

"It was upsetting seeing those blue buses, especially seeing the one with the 631 number on it," she said.

"It's hard to describe the effect it's had on myself, my daughter and my family.

"It's something you never ever forget, it lives on in your memory and for the rest of my life it will."

Were you on Bruce Kent's bus that day and would like to have his bravery recognised? Contact the Daily on 5430 8080.

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