Police clear Milton school bus driver

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  1. Editor says:

    The following was just posted in the Milton Canadian Champion’s editorial section. The commenter was beside the school bus on that fateful morning and claims the event was sensationalized by students and that the bus appeared to be in no imminent danger.

    If I was on a school bus stopped on the tracks with a train approaching, I’m not sure I’d agree with that assessment, but nonetheless, here is a statement from a witness to the event:

    Dear Editor:

    I’m writing regarding the story ‘Students ‘horrified’ in bus/train ordeal’ in last Tuesday’s Champion.

    I was beside the bus that morning. I don’t believe the bus driver was at fault.

    I had just dropped my son off at E.C. Drury and was heading out for my morning coffee. I was delayed at the tracks due to the flashing lights of the school bus driver doing his check before crossing the tracks.

    As the driver proceeded after waiting, the bar came down about two-thirds from the front of the bus.

    The bus driver drove a bit further to let the arm down. A workman who was on the northeast side of the track went to the bus and stood there until the train passed. Now, what person would put himself and the kids on the bus at risk (if there was one)? Anyone would be rushing those kids off that bus.

    I felt no impending danger to those children. The construction pick-up truck behind the school bus didn’t seem to think so either as the driver looked like he was taking a picture with his BlackBerry.

    I’m sure that the children were upset, but if you have teenagers as I do, it’s drama, drama, drama.

    I’m not down-playing what hapenned, but I wouldn’t play it up either. We all know everyone’s perception is 50 per cent.

    Christine Marchesich, Milton

  2. My assumption when I first heard this story was that the bus had been blocked from crossing the tracks by traffic backed up from Nippissing because of the westbound lane reduction. However, from all accounts the bus was travelling *eastbound* towards B.R., and I’ve read nothing to indicate that traffic was blocked ahead.

    To me, it sounds likely that the driver decided that staying put between the barrier and the tracks was safer than continuing through and risking being hit. And I wouldn’t be surprised if this was actually part of the training.

    Here’s the crossing on satellite:


    As you can see, there is a ton of room between the barrier arm and the first set of tracks – more than enough room to fit a 40 foot school bus. And those outer sets of tracks really are only used for service vehicles.


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