Bus driver missed Daniel by less than two minutes

A BUS driver has told a jury how Daniel Morcombe disappeared in less than two minutes between two buses driving past.

Jeffrey Norman, from Marcoola, said fellow driver Ross Edmunds had loaded 10 to 12 passengers from a broken down bus onto a replacement bus and was heading express to Sunshine Plaza.

He said he would follow in another bus to pick up any passengers along the route who would have been waiting at least 45 minutes because of the breakdown.

Mr Norman said he would have arrived about 2.15-2.20pm on December 7, 2003, and it would have been no more than five minutes before the replacement bus took off.

He said he got into his bus, waited for traffic and then pulled out on the road.

"It wouldn't have been more than two minutes at most (after the other bus)," he said.

"There was a surge of traffic coming up the road, that was the only thing that delayed me, otherwise it would have been a minute."

Mr Norman said Mr Edmunds radioed that there was someone waiting under the Kiel Mountain Road overpass - which was about 800m to a kilometre from where the bus had earlier broken down.

He said he would pick him up on the way through but when he got there, slowing to 60kmh, there was "nobody at all".

"I didn't look on the other side but on the left hand side of the road there was nothing there," he said.

"I didn't stop."


Daniel Morcombe witnesses tell of blue, not white car

BRETT Peter Cowan's defence team has begun its examination of the people who saw a blue car near a boy in a red t-shirt the day Daniel Morcombe disappeared.

Barrister Angus Edwards told the jury during his opening address that they should pay attention to the evidence from these witnesses because a convicted child sex offender, Douglas Jackway, drove a blue car and was supposed to be on the Sunshine Coast that day.

Brett Cowan was driving a white Mitsubishi Pajero at the time.

Joan Anderson, who was living at Woombye at the time, said she was driving north along the Nambour Connection Road after 1.30pm when she saw the boy about 2m from a blue four-door sedan.

Mrs Anderson said it was an older car with faded paint, "not a silvery look but faded worn colour".

She said the passenger door was slightly open and the front driver's door was open .

Mrs Anderson said there was a man beside the open door, not fully standing but rather appeared as if he was just getting out of the vehicle.

"As we passed the vehicle and seen the boy on the side of the road, to me the two people didn't go together," she said.

"It made me feel uncomfortable."

Through questions from Mr Edwards, Mrs Anderson said the man appeared to be 30-40 years of age with slight to average build.

She said he had unkempt mousey brown coloured, shoulder-length hair and looked like he needed a haircut.

Mrs Anderson said the man was wearing dark clothes and what she thought might have been a checkered shirt.

She said the number 009 "comes to mind" when she thinks of the number plate of the car but could not get the letters because a pillar was blocking as they went passed.

"I didn't write it down but tried to repeat it to myself," she said.

Mrs Anderson said she believed they were NSW plates but not because of the colour.

Mr Edwards asked her if she had been shown a room with 37 pictures of cars lining the walls in August, 2004, to see if she could identify the car she saw.

"It was a bit overwhelming," she said.

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