Charges pending after car-school bus accident

·2 min read

The RCMP expects to lay charges relating to a car-school bus collision near Centreville on Thursday afternoon, May 5.

The collision made the ride home for Centreville Community School students longer and a bit scarier than usual, as a car slammed into the back of the bus as it stopped to allow students to disembark on Route 560 near Centreville.

Capt. Luke Shaw of the Centreville Fire Department said all the children, the bus driver, and the car driver escaped injury.

Shaw, who served as the incident commander for the fire department, said the impact was significant as the front passenger side of the car smashed into the back left side of the bus.

Sgt. Brendan Flewelling said everyone was relieved nobody was hurt, but this type of accident always raises concern.

While the accident remains under investigation, he said police expect to lay “some charges.”

Flewelling said police take the traffic laws surrounding the safety of school buses seriously, noting the rules are in place to protect children.

“People need to be aware,” he said. “Buses have blinking lights for a reason. They’re big and yellow for a reason.”

Flewelling said penalties for ignoring bus-safety rules could be tough.

Shaw said the RCMP, Ambulance NB, school officials and some parents quickly arrived at the accident scene.

Shaw said the CCS principal and Anglophone West School District assistant transportation manager arrived within minutes.

While no one appeared injured in the accident, he said the fire department asked Ambulance NB paramedics to examine each of the children before they cleared them to leave with parents or on the bus school officials called to the scene.

“No one seemed physically hurt,” said Shaw, “but some children were upset.”

He said the students were between kindergarten and Grade 8.

With the bus full of children, Shaw said the process required considerable time, noting it took approximately two hours to clear the scene.

He said he couldn’t provide details about the cause of the crash. The RCMP would carry out the investigation.

“We were told that the bus stopped to let kids off,” Shaw said.

He said the school and district have policies to handle these types of accidents. He said that the principal and assistant transportation had a second bus quickly on route to take the children home. Others went home with their parents, who rushed to the scene.

Shaw, a casual bus driver, said he’s familiar with district protocol and training. He noted every driver must undergo special training before being allowed behind the wheel. They also update their training regularly.

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun

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