A 96-YEAR-OLD woman was left badly bruised and shocked after a bus crashed into a tree on the A68.

Joan Staszewski, from West Woodburn, was travelling on the bus to Hexham last Tuesday when the vehicle veered off the road and hit a tree near Little Whittington.

During the accident, Mrs Staszewski was thrown out of her seat, hitting her head on pillars and seats, before ending up on the floor.

After receiving treatment at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, she is back recovering at home, but remains in a great deal of pain.

“I can barely move, the pain is so intense,” she said this week.

“I am coming up to 97 years old in two weeks. I don’t have any means of transport apart from the bus which is a life-saver to me.

“I always have a seat to myself because I have a trolley with me. I heard this crashing noise and then it went black and I must have been knocked unconscious.

“I woke up on the floor below the seats, I couldn’t move and was in a bad, twisted position and a lot of pain.

“A woman got down beside me, helped me and talked to me, but wouldn’t let me move.”

Mrs Staszewski was taken to the hospital and given a CT scan and X-ray.

She added: “When I got there at around 11am, I visited lots of different places and had lots of scans and eventually, in the evening, somebody said they would arrange for transport to take me home.

“I got home at around 9pm and I was left in that state to do the best I could for myself. I have never been in such a bad state.

“I am being prevented from doing practically everything. I have bumps on my head, bruises all over my face, and my neck and body is all swollen with bruises. My right arm is useless and my shoulder is in pain.”

Northumberland Fire and Rescue praised the bus driver for what they described as his heroic actions during the crash, which happened during a week when the district was hit by heavy rain and wintry conditions.

A spokeswoman for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “If it wasn’t for the quick thinking driver, this could have been a lot worse.”

Mrs Staszewski’s son, Roger, said: “Since the collision, she’s finding it almost impossible to carry out routine tasks as her shoulder is essentially non-functional. She visits Hexham every Tuesday to do her shopping, but I don’t think she will be able to go for a few weeks.”