Saturday, October 06, 2012

I had no idea this was such a dangerous job

This is really more Albatross's territory, but I think he has an actual life or something, and it struck me as so absolutely bizarre I needed to share it myself.

It's been a dangerous week or so to be an SAISD bus driver.  As an alumna of that school system, I'm most surprised that the danger isn't coming from kids.

On Tuesday, this happened:
School Buses Collide; Driver Dies

Martinez's sudden loss of control of the wheel might have been caused by a medical emergency. She had passed the required annual physical exam for drivers in August.

Martinez was headed north with five students on Foster Road around 7:30 a.m., when she lost control and drove onto the median near Candlemeadow.

The bus entered the southbound lanes, collided with a Judson Independent School District bus carrying 59 elementary school students and then jumped a curb.

Martinez wasn't wearing a safety belt and was flung onto the steps near the bus door, said Lt. Jose Trevino of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. With nobody at the wheel, the bus came to a stop only after running into the backyard fence of a house.
As if that's not startling enough, this happened Thursday (the day of Martinez's funeral, oddly):

Witnesses told police she had been swerving as she drove north on I- 37 just before the 4:30 p.m. crash, the report said.

As she was passing the bus on the right, the back left bumper of her Dodge Nitro clipped the right front of the bus.

Owens, a driver for the district for 16 years, possibly overcorrected, and motorists told police they saw the bus spin 180 degrees while crossing three lanes before vaulting the guardrail and landing on its nose near the Comfort Inn & Suites by Houston Street.
This is one of the pictures from the story:

It is apparently not much of a drop there, thank goodness.  There are other, much higher, places along I-37; I'm really glad it happened so close to downtown.

Of course, when my best friend told me of this wreck in a text message, I thought absolutely the worst.  SAISD's busses do tend to have seat belts, but they're typically not used.  In this case, they were.  Everyone survived, and it seems the worst injury was a broken ankle.  I'm sure the fact that only three people were on the bus at all helped too.

District officials have been quick to tell us that school bus accidents are rare.  While they're right, I'm still starting to wonder if maybe bus drivers don't need hazard pay even when they're not carrying kids from Sam Houston.

1 comment:

Albatross said...

Thanks for pointing out the strange things during my short absences. I'm still around, but it seems that life had just gotten a LOT busier for me within the last year or two. Good to know someone's got my back, even if it is just pointing out strange bus crashes.