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School bus driver after crash: 'I think I fell asleep'

Toronto Sun crime reporter Chris Doucette. (Sun files)

By Chris Doucette, Toronto Sun

BRAMPTON  - 

More than a dozen kids walked away shaken but unscathed after their school bus crashed into two parked cars, jumped a curb and knocked out a hydro transformer Tuesday.

And at least one witness claimed the middle-aged bus driver admitted in the aftermath he may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Frank Boaventura was getting ready for work when the bus crashed in front of his home on Fairhill Dr., near Bovaird Dr, W. and Chinguacousy Rd., around 7 a.m.

“All of the sudden I hear a loud bang and the power goes off,” he said Tuesday, adding his daughter looked outside and told him “a school bus crashed.”

Boaventura, who coincidentally is a TTC bus driver, rushed outside and saw smoke billowing from the front of the large yellow bus, so he opened the back door and told the students to get out.

He then checked on the driver.

“When I got to the front, the driver was just coming around,” Boaventura said. “I said, ‘Are you OK?’ and he goes, ‘I think I fell asleep.’”

The bus driver’s “main concern” was the kids, Boaventura added, recalling the man asked repeatedly about them.

Boaventura reassured the driver, whose name was not released, that the kids were OK.

Peel Regional Police said the bus was heading east on Fairhill Dr., approaching Brisdale Ave., when the driver lost control.

“The driver may have suffered from some sort of medical condition that we believe caused him to go off the roadway,” Const. Fiona Thivierge said.

The bus crashed into a car that was parked on the street, pushing it into another vehicle parked in the driveway next to Boaventura’s home and then into the transformer.

The 16 to 20 students on board were heading to Mayfield Secondary School. But it was not a Peel District School Board (PDSB) bus.

PDSB spokesman Carla Pereira said the students on the bus travel from outside the area to attend the regional art’s program at Mayfield.

Parents pay to charter a bus from Switzer-Carty to take their kids to school each day.

Boaventura said the students were “in shock” after the crash.

Switzer-Carty spokesman Dan Maradin confirmed the driver, an employee since 2011, did have one other accident a few months ago.

But he said it was minor and the driver was not charged.

The man was taken to the hospital for tests, but Maradin said it was not immediately clear what happened.

chris.doucette@sunmedia.ca

 


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