A man caught on a dashcam driving his empty First Student’ school bus over a sidewalk at the intersection of Merivale and Hunt Club roads is no longer with the company.
As reported in Monday’s Metro, driving instructor Keith Marien videotaped the driver of bus # 130809 driving aggressively, taking a shortcut through the busy intersection using the designated bike lane and then the sidewalk, only eight hours after cyclist Mario Theoret was killed in a collision with a truck a few feet from the intersection.
Marien alerted First Student and the Ottawa police of the reckless driving before contacting Metro News Ottawa.
“Since learning of the incident, the driver is no longer driving for the company,” Maurice Harris, the director of corporate communications for First Student, said in a phone call from their Cincinnati headquarters. “We take any incident like this very seriously. Safety and security are of the utmost importance.
Marien has seen a lot of dangerous, bonehead moves by Ottawa drivers, but the one he witnessed on Hunt Club Road Thursday had him fuming mad.
Only eight hours after a fatal truck-bike accident at Merivale, Marien, 48, told Metro he was with a student, stopped on Hunt Club for a red light at Merivale when the First Student school bus #130809 behind him started beeping its horn, urging Marien’s student driver to move forward.
The veteran driving instructor told his student to ignore it and maintain his position. When the eastbound light turned green, Marien saw the bus squeeze into the outside bike lane, and then mount the sidewalk, approximately in the same location where Mario Théoret was killed that morning.
Marien was videotaping the whole incident on his dash-mounted camera.
“I’m not shy about calling people out on their stupidity,” Marien said. “But this is one of the most reckless examples of bad driving I’ve ever seen.”
“I’m trying to teach these kids the safe way to navigate dangerous intersections and here’s this school bus driving roughshod over the sidewalk,” Marien fumed. “I’m in the car 12 hours a day, five days a week and I see this sort of thing from school buses and OC Transpo all the time. If I do something stupid, I lose my license and my job. If you ride your bicycle on the sidewalk, it’s a $65 fine, but what is the fine if you drive a school bus?”